Hartford officer on unpaid suspension after arrest - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Hartford officer on unpaid suspension after arrest

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Hartford police officer facing charges after a reported domestic violence incident (WFSB) Hartford police officer facing charges after a reported domestic violence incident (WFSB)

A Hartford police officer is facing charges after a reported domestic violence incident.

Police identified the officer as Israel Zea.

They said they were dispatched to an apartment on Lincoln Street Monday just before 12:30 a.m.

Zea was said to be off-duty at the time.

Police said he forced his way into the 47-year-old female's apartment and assaulted her. The woman is reportedly Zea's ex-girlfriend. He dated the woman for about six months and they recently broke up, according to his attorney.

Zea was found in the second-floor apartment after being detained by two eyewitnesses.

The victim suffered facial trauma and was treated at Hartford Hospital, according to police.

Zea, though subdued, also suffered facial injuries by the two eyewitnesses, but refused medical treatment.

His attorney said Zea was going to the house to get his clothes and furniture.

"My client's position is that he had keys to the apartment which everyone knows. There is no need to break any doors down. He unlocked the door...entered into a porch area, was encountered by these two men one was the brother, one was the ex-boyfriend, and he was assaulted," said Zea's Attorney Sal Bonnano. "The woman somehow intermingled within the conflict and somehow suffered some injury. I don't know how. My clients hands are pristine. They're clean."

Internal affairs investigators took over the investigation.

Probable cause was established, prompting officers to take Zea to a booking facility.

He was charged with second-degree burglary, third-degree assault, second-degree criminal mischief and first-degree criminal trespass.

His bond was set at $50,000.

A separate administrative investigation was also initiated, according to police.

They said Zea has been an officer for 17 years.

Hartford Police Chief James Rovella said the department will not tolerate this kind of behavior by anyone in the community, including their own.

"Whether you're a police officer or not, the criminal code is applied to everyone fairly," Rovella said.

He's now on unpaid suspension. He has been ordered to stay away from the victim and must submit to alcohol and drug testing three times per week.

He is expected to appear in court on July 23.

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