By DON STACOM,
The Hartford Courant
6:04 PM EDT, October 1, 2012
Former Bristol police Officer Robert Mosback was convicted Monday of drunken driving and reckless driving.
Jurors acquitted him on a third charge, reckless endangerment.
In the third day of deliberations, jurors concluded that Mosback was intoxicated when he crashed his patrol car into a utility pole at high speed two years ago. They rejected his defense lawyers' attack on the hospital medical test that showed his blood alcohol content was .13 soon after the crash. The legal limit is .08.
Defense attorneys had portrayed Mosback, 39, as dedicated officer who had been victimized by an unavoidable car wreck and an unreliable medical test that falsely concluded that he was drunk. He crashed his cruiser into a utility pole at 60 mph to 70 mph soon after starting a late-night shift in June 2010.
He told investigators he had seen a suspicious-looking car up ahead and tried to catch up to it when he lost control of the cruiser. He testified last week that he veered the car into the pole rather than risk a head-on crash by skidding into the opposite lane.
The first officers to arrive helped him out of the wreckage and put him into an ambulance, performing no intoxication tests along the way. He was taken to St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center, where a test concluded that Mosback's blood alcohol level was 0.13 percent. That test wasn't ordered by police, though, and wasn't given to them.
The public became incensed later when the city received a workers compensation form revealing that information. Some complained of a police cover-up, and the investigation was handed over to state troopers. The state police developed enough evidence to charge Mosback, who had already resigned his police job.
Defense attorney James Ruane argued to the jury that the medical test was not reliable, and the result could have been skewed by Mosback's use of a prescription arthritis medication earlier that night.
Copyright © 2012, The Hartford Courant