State cops: trooper stole from dead man
Updated 12:08 am, Friday, November 30, 2012
That's when he was charged with stealing $3,000 and plucking a gold chain from the dying victim of a motorcyle crash on the Merritt Parkway in September.
Huntsman turned himself in at Troop I in Bethany after being told there was a warrant for his arrest.
"Certainly this is an embarrassment and a disappointment for the state police, but as soon as we got the complaint we acted on it and contacted the state's attorney," said state police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance. "These kinds of things are rare for any law enforcement agency but we do take it seriously."
When family of the accident victim, 49-year-old John Scalesse, of Orange, noticed that some of his possessions, including cash and jewelry were missing, they called the state police.
Investigators found Scalesse's clothing at the hospital -- but the other items were missing. They later discovered a large amount of cash in the trooper's cruiser.
Huntsman, 43, was charged with two counts of third-degree larceny, interfering with police, and tampering with evidence.
At the time of the accident, Huntsman was assigned to Troop G barracks in Bridgeport and he earned $111,967 in 2011, state records show.
Prosecutors and personnel at the Golden Hill Street courthouse in Bridgeport -- where Huntsman often worked an overtime assignment at the front door -- were dismayed at the arrest and allegations against the trooper, who was known as "AJ."
"He is the last person I thought would do that, he is such a great guy," said a judicial marshal "I can't believe it, I just can't believe it," added a prosecutor who has worked on cases with Huntsman. Neither wanted their names used because Huntsman is scheduled to be back at the courthouse -- this time as a defendant -- on Dec. 10.
Huntsman, who is married with two children, is a former vice president of the Connecticut State Police Union. He was given an award for Meritorious Service in 2008 for stopping a wrong-way drunken driver on Route 8.
Scalesse, the owner of the JAS Masonry, LLC in Milford suffered fatal injuries after his motorcycle crashed into a construction company truck in the northbound lanes of Exit 44 on the Merritt in Fairfield. Scalesse's motorcycle, a 2001 Honda FLSTF, skidded into the rear of the truck about a half mile before the exit, police said.
When reached at home in Cheshire by telephone, Scalesse's brother, Matthew Scalesse said he didn't have any information and couldn't comment on the case.
Police suspended Huntsman with pay pending an internal affairs investigation. He was released Thursday after posting $5,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned in Superior Court in Bridgeport on Dec. 10.
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