Norwalk Connecticut resident Duane Doutel [not shown] had some major issues with one Doctor Staw. After a bit of back and forth, Doutel left a voicemail warning that a public confrontation “would not be pretty.” The Norwalk po-po popped the concealed carry license holder for Sec. 53a-62 Threatening in the second degree. Needless to say, Doutel’s right to keep and bear arms went bye-bye—and it’s not coming back anytime soon. Check out the court’s reasoning . . .
Norwalk Police Officer Jared Zwickler responded to a call from Dr. Staw’s office after the message was received, and listened to the recording of Mr. Doutel’s message. In the course of his investigation he learned that the office staff felt threatened by this message, based upon the fact that the defendant previously had brought a firearm with him to medical appointments, made a point of showing medical staff that he had the weapon with him, often expressed racist ideas in the office, discussed political subjects, and was often very agitated, animated, or easily excitable while at the medical office.
In this regard, it should be noted that Mr. Doutel’s manner of speaking and tone of voice vary within the message. Although the initial portion of the message is evenly modulated, in the latter part of the message, the intonation varied, with certain words and phrases expressed more emphatically, including the following portions:
He will provide those because I paid for them up front․ If I haven’t heard within forty-eight hours that those results have been forwarded to Dr. Altman, I will be walking into the office, and it will not be pretty. Do you understand me? I paid for those up front. You will provide them. I will see to it ․
So, as Mr. Doutel’s case grinds its way to its inevitable denouement (FOAD?), lawyers for Mrs. Doutel have sued the City of Norwalk for fourth amendment violations. [Click here for the filing.] The lawsuit takes the Norwalk police to task for entering the Doutel’s home without a warrant and confiscating Mrs. Doutel’s firearms.
You’d think that Mrs. D wouldn’t have a ghost of a chance. The Supreme Court’s given no-knock raids a big thumbs-up for the last four decades. The Constitution State’s current distaste for all things firearm is well-established, both legally and politically. And yet the CT court dismissed the City’s motion to have the lawsuit punted. [Press release from Connecticut Carry below.]
We’ll be keeping an eye on this one . . .
Hartford CT –-(Ammoland.com)- Claims of Fourth Amendment violations by four Norwalk police officers have survived the City of Norwalk’s motion for dismissal: A Connecticut Federal District Court has rendered a ruling in favor of the innocent and injured spouse of Duane Doutel from Norwalk, CT.
The City of Norwalk sought to have all charges in the complaint brought by the plaintiff, Barbara Casey Doutel of Norwalk, dismissed on the grounds of summary judgment. The charge that survived this motion was ‘Unreasonable Search and Seizure in Violation of the 4th Amendment’. The search and seizure of Mrs. Doutel’s firearms stemmed from Mr. Doutel’s February 2010 arrest.
When the charges against Mr. Doutel were brought to court, the charges were reduced and then ultimately dismissed entirely after a protracted and costly legal battle that spanned over 18 months and more than a dozen court appearances.
The Norwalk police had called Mr. Doutel prior to arriving at his home under the false pretenses of ‘just wanting to talk to him’. Mr Doutel had replied that they had no need to come to his home unless they had an arrest warrant in hand. Officer Jared Zwickler and fellow officers arrived at the home, ordering Mr. Doutel out of his home and then marching past the handcuffed Mr. Doutel into his home to search for firearms.
Judge Vanessa Bryant has found that material differences exist regarding whether or not police had consent to initiate a search of Mr. Doutel’s home as well as the subsequent seizure of Mr. and Mrs. Doutel’s firearms and other property. Before a jury sees the case, the case must survive settlement negotiations with a Federal Magistrate.
Whether the City of Norwalk will come to their senses and recognize a losing case or not is anyone’s guess at this point. Courts, towns and politicians have certainly shown a gross bias to anything related to firearms since the Newtown massacre; the actions of Norwalk and the Federal Magistrate will be interesting to observe.
Attorney Rachel Baird filed Mrs. Doutel’s complaint in Federal court on July 25, 2011. Mr. Doutel has yet to file his own lawsuit against the City of Norwalk for their role in his arrest.