New London police investigating dormitory incident


NEW LONDON, Conn. (AP/WTNH) — New London police are conducting an internal investigation after a college student said officers beat, kicked, and threatened him with mace after he helped a domestic violence victim at a dormitory.

New London Deputy Police Chief Peter Reichard says police launched the investigation into the early Sunday morning incident and have also met with faculty at Connecticut College.

“It’s an internal investigation just to determine if there is any wrongdoing or improprieties on the part of the police officers,” says Deputy Chief Reichard.

conn college investigation 1 New London police investigating dormitory incidentLee Messier, a junior from Narragansett, Rhode Island, who says he kept trying to explain to police what had happened was charged with interfering with police and resisting arrest on Sunday.

A Facebook post he wrote about his experience which also showed pictures of a bruised arm and cut on his head was shared widely.

Messier’s father is chief of airport police at T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island and is retired from the state police.

The officer who arrested Messier was fired in 2013 for his involvement in an alleged beating and pepper spray incident. The department later rehired Joshua Bergeson.conn college investigation 3 New London police investigating dormitory incident

“In the past I believe he has a history of discipline with the police department prior to my tenure here,” says the Deputy Chief.

While on the Connecticut College campus one student yelled, “You guys should leave,” to our news crew.

Senior Ross Thompson however did tell News8 he isn’t surprised by Messier’s allegations of police brutality.

“They’re not like the nicest people when you deal with them off campus as well,” says Thompson.

conn college investigation 2 New London police investigating dormitory incidentHe says two years ago police overreacted after a friend got into a verbal argument outside a downtown bar on Bank Street.

“Took two people just cuffed them both and just throwing punches at kids while they were on the ground,” says Thompson.

In an email to students and staff the Dean of Students Victor Arcelus supported Messier’s efforts. “Before the officers arrived on the scene, students helped defuse the situation by intervening directly with the individuals involved.”

The students involved in the dispute also face charges of disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer. The victim reportedly kicked a campus police officer who had responded to the 911 call with New London police.

Messier and the other two students are expected to be in court later this month.

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