New Canaan Police said Monday night that they’re bolstering efforts to serve department- and court-issued arrest warrants for people who have been cited for infractions or charged with crimes but have not been immediately reachable by authorities.
As part of the department’s new warrant service initiative, older warrants for people who have been ticketed but likely will never be reachable—for example, those who travel to Connecticut seasonally from out-of-state to solicit door-to-door, incurring infraction summonses—will be “vacated,” according to Police Capt. John DiFederico.
The department following a recent internal accounting found that it has about 117 such court-issued warrants—known as ‘PRAWN’ or paperless re-arrest warrants, issued when people fail to pay or plead to a ticket, DiFederico said at the Police Commission’s regular monthly meeting, held at Town Hall.
Asked by commissioner Paul Foley whether warrants tied to past arrests will be prioritized based on severity, DiFederico said that police are trying to take care of those issued for felony-level offenses. They include outstanding warrants for first-degree failure to appear for 37-year-old Christian “Chris” Hernan Cruz, originally charged in 2012 with first-degree larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny, as well as third-degree forgery and conspiracy to commit forgery. About five-foot-nine and 150 to 160 pounds with brown eyes and dark hair, Cruz had been released on $50,000 bond and his last known addresses are Locust Avenue in New Canaan and Berkeley Street in Norwalk. Anyone who knows his whereabouts should contact NCPD Sgt. Joseph Farenga at 203-594-3519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s something we are going to do frequently, it is not a one-time initiative,” DiFederico said. “It’s something we will continually every month. I am running a list of the active ones weekly to see if anything new comes in, and when a new warrant does come in, we will immediately go out and try to serve it.”
Typically, when a signed warrant comes back from a judge, police issue a letter to contact the person charged and then either allow that individual to turn himself or herself in, or “sometimes we pick them up on a normal traffic stop,” DiFederico said.
“What we are going to do [now] is make a more frequent effort to make a service attempt, contact the person in some way, try to serve the warrant and document that we attempted to serve the warrant. The court would appreciate that, in case the warrant is left outstanding for several years and the person finally is caught they would like to see some kind of history, some kind of service attempt by us.”