Nails in town roads addressed by chief

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

Plainville Police Chief Matthew Catania addressed acts of criminal mischief and reviewed department crime report numbers at the Monday, Nov. 19, meeting of the Town Council.

Recently, Catania said, there have been incidents of nails and screws being found in tires of motor vehicles. At first, the department responded as though “it was just an incident where a box of nails fell off a truck.”

Catania said that the department has gone to local tire shops, and has learned of over 100 incidents between three shops in the “last four week period.”

“I wanted you to rest assured that we are looking at it as a criminal matter, and we are investigating it thoroughly,” said Catania. “We are interviewing a few people that we feel are persons of interest and people that would have a reason or an opportunity to commit the act of criminal mischief.”

He described the current findings as a “mixed bag of screws and nuts,” saying the nails and screws that have been found “look like maybe they were taken out of a dumpster, maybe somebody’s junk bin.”

Catania also offered the council a report on incidents in thetown.

He said the department has had about 17,000 incident numbers to date in 2018, which is “tracking about the same” as 2017, which saw “22,762 calls for service.” Catania also reviewed the numbers regarding assaults, burglaries, domestic violence, and overdose calls.

To date, the department has received 287 claims of assault, which chief said is “a lot of complaints of assault… (but) this is going on across the nation from what I can see in Connecticut, looking at crime reporting numbers. This is not unusual, it’s not unusual just to Plainville, we’re not getting overrun with criminal activity, but we certainly are getting our share.”

There have been 100 burglaries, 93 incidents of motor vehicles evading accidents, and 65 mission persons calls to date.

“(There have been) 388 reports of domestic violence to date. To give you a compare and contrast, last year on the domestic violence, this is on the non-criminal domestic violence where no one was arrested, 433 last year, [at] 388, we tracking about the same,” said Catania.

Another area of concern for Catania is fatal overdoses. There have been 52 calls to date for fatal overdoses, and Narcan has been administered 22 times to date, compared to 31 Narcan administrations in 2017. Catania said in some of these instances, the call may be made too late, and thus the Narcan was “of no value.”

“Commitals… We call it a 17-8503, that’s specifically the statute that empowers us to be able to send someone to the hospital for an emergency evaluation – 340 last year, 263 this year to date,” said Catania.

“The numbers in police work are very, very intriguing because you have to look at it from many different directions,” said Catania. “I think some of these numbers may raise an eyebrow or two, but that’s what’s going on in our community, that’s what we’re handling, I think we’re handling it very effectively.”

Comments? Email tmurchison@BristolObserver.com.