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Report released on Thody crash; Chief said he was reaching for phone and sideswiped guardrail

Minimal damage to SUV and guardrail resulted
Credit: FOX61

HARTFORD, Conn — Hartford Police released a report in the crash Chief Jason Thody as involved in May. Thody said that he was reaching for his phone and his SUV sideswiped a guardrail, resulting in minimal damage to the vehicle and the rail.

The report details the events of Sunday, May 31. 

Thody was in Chester on his boat. He was monitoring the situation in Hartford and around the state, where a number of demonstrations were taking place. In New Haven and Waterbury, people protesting the death of George Floyd had blocked highways. The report said a group had also gathered at the Hartford Police department headquarters. 

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Thody was in contact with his staff in Hartford and made the decision to drive back to Hartford. The report said Thody was on the phone with Lt. Luis Ruiz when he left the marina. Several minutes later, he said "his attention was momentarily drawn to his phone" that had slid from the center console to the passenger seat. As he reached to get the phone, he crossed the right shoulder and and the passenger side of the vehicle came in contact with the guardrail. 

There was minor damage to the SUV and the guardrail. Thody said that he did not report the incident to State Police since the damage was minor and the situation in Hartford took priority over waiting for a trooper to arrive, especially since the State Police were dealing with protesters on the highways at that time. 

Thody felt according to the report, that the damage was below the $1,000 threshold for a report. 

The Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection said State Police were notified of a car crash involving Thody on May 31 in Chester. A report said State Police were made aware but declined to respond and declined to offer a case number. 

On June 26, a second report was given to DESPP saying there was an error in the first report and state police were never told of the crash. 

DESPP reviewed its records which showed the chief did not report the crash to State police. 

Thody joined the Hartford police force back in 1996 and served in the past as Assistant Chief of Police. He was tapped as Interim Chief in April of 2019. He was confirmed as Hartford's police chief in February

The State police have contacted the State's Attorney in Middlesex and the investigation is ongoing.

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