Horrible example of why everyone should fight for RKBA


July 24, 2007, 08:33 PM
Here is the sequence of events, according to sources and police statements.

1. Early morning. Two intruders enter family home at 300 Sorghum Mill Drive, Cheshire.

2 . About 9 a.m. one intruder forces Jennifer Hawke-Petit to drive to the Bank of America on Route 10. She alerts a bank employee that her family is being held hostage. Minutes later, Hawke-Petit and the intruder arrive back at the house.

3. Cheshire police officers arrive and find the home in flames. Fleeing suspects crash the family's vehicle into an officer's cruiser, then into two other Cheshire cruisers, before being taken into custody a block away. At some point, a badly beaten William Petit stumbles from the burning home and makes it to a neighbor's home. Emergency personnel find bodies of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and daughters Hayley and Michaela.

Relatives of the Petit family attended the arraignment of Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky.

8:13 PM EDT, July 24, 2007
CHESHIRE - The woman killed in a horrific home invasion Monday in Cheshire was strangled and her daughters died of smoke inhalation, the state medical examiner's office said tonight.

Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, and her daughters, Hayley, 17 and Michaela, 11, were killed in the attack. Their deaths were ruled homicides.

A fourth family member, Dr. William A. Petit Jr., was beaten but survived, stumbling to safety as the home was consumed by a fire allegedly set by the suspects.

Two recent parolees who apparently met at a halfway house for nonviolent offenders were arraigned Tuesday.

Joshua Komisarjevsky, 26, of 840 North Brooksvale Road, Cheshire, and Steven Hayes, 44, of 5-H Horne Ave., Winsted, each face a multitude of charges, including first-degree aggravated sexual assault and first-degree kidnapping. State police said the investigation is continuing and that more charges will be filed.

Both suspects have long criminal records and were on parole after serving time in prison for past burglaries. They were arraigned on the new charges in Superior Court in Meriden, with bail for each man set at $15 million.
Among other details to emerge about the case today:

William A Petit Jr., may have confronted the burglars before he was badly beaten with a baseball bat, tied up and left in the basement.

His two daughters were tied to their beds, a source said, and at least one was raped.

Police have recovered $15,000 that Petit's wife was forced to withdraw from a bank that morning while the rest of her family was held hostage.

Relatives of the victims released a statement decrying the "horrible, senseless, violent assaults."

Komisarjevsky and Hayes apparently met at a Hartford residential drug treatment program in June 2006, and spent approximately 5-1/2 months together between that program and another halfway house, until Hayes failed a urine test in late November.

The pair were both at Berman House treatment center on Sargent Street in Hartford from June 13 to July 25. They reunited at Silliman House on Retreat Avenue in Hartford, where both men's stays overlapped from July 31 until Nov. 26, 2006.

Silliman House is a 24-bed work release program where former inmates receive counseling, employment assistance, financial management services, housing assistance, substance abuse treatment and other help. Residents are also tested for drugs and alcohol and given life skills and anger management training. Beds cost an estimated $64.95 per day. Once employed, residents must contribute 35 percent of their weekly gross pay, up to $100 a week.

Town police officers who raced to the Petits' home at 300 Sorghum Mill Drive Monday morning said they saw Komisarjevsky and Hayes running from the burning house and attempting to escape in a car owned by the victims. After ramming three police cruisers, the suspects were arrested at gunpoint.

Inside the home, Petit, a prominent doctor who was beaten and tied up in the basement, was able to hop up the cellar stairs as the flames spread. He was the only one to make it out alive.

As he struggled, flames roared around Hawke-Petit, a popular nurse at Cheshire Academy, who was unconscious and possibly already dead on the first floor.

The charred body of his older daughter, Hayley, a recent graduate of Miss Porter's School in Farmington, was found at the top of the main stairs.

In a second-floor bedroom down the hall, the youngest in the family, Michaela, was found tied to a bed. Her body was too badly burned to immediately tell how she died.

Based on statements that the two men have provided, police now believe that William Petit may have confronted the burglars and was badly beaten with a baseball bat, tied up and left in the basement, sources said.

The criminals were armed with a baseball bat!!! His wife and daughters were killed, at least one daughter raped and he was badly beaten. A person who practices a lot with a pistol could have deterred these criminals. Another example of how the police can't always protect you. If you can't fight your way to a phone you are helpless. This is why we must fight for RKBA!!!

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July 24, 2007, 08:36 PM
CHESHIRE - The two girls were tied to their beds. Sources say at least one was raped. The two men also poured gasoline all around the second floor bedrooms of the two girls and lit the rooms on fire.

Relatives of the Petits released a brief statement that read: "Our precious family members have been the victims of horrible, senseless, violent assaults. We are understandably in shock and overwhelmed with sadness as we attempt to gather together to support one another and recognize these wonderful, giving beautiful individuals who have been so cruelly taken from us."

Police were dispatched to the house about 9:20 a.m. after Jennifer Hawke-Petit was forced by one of the suspects to drive to a local bank branch to get money. Hawke-Petit was able to alert a teller that her family was being held hostage because the suspect who went with her waited outside. At the bank, Hawke-Petit withdrew $15,000 from a bank account. The money was later found in the family vehicle the suspects used to flee.
As police were closing in on the Deaconwood neighborhood of half-million-dollar homes, the two men jumped in the family's Chrysler Pacifica SUV parked in the driveway. The fleeing suspects rammed a police cruiser that tried to cut them off in front of the house and continued west on Sorghum toward a police roadblock about a block away.

Sgt. Chris Cote and Officer Tom Wright, both members of the department's SWAT team, had left their cars at the roadblock and were headed toward the house armed with semiautomatic rifles. Officer Jeff Sutherland was positioned at the roadblock.
Instead of slowing for the roadblock, the fleeing suspects gunned the SUV's engine and raced toward Sutherland. The SUV slammed into two police cruisers in the center of the roadblock. Their front ends mangled, the police cars spun apart from each other on impact. Sutherland escaped injury. The Pacifica, front end damaged and airbags deployed, rolled 30 feet before stopping against a neighbor's manicured lawn.

Officers, guns drawn, swarmed the vehicle and pulled the suspects out.

Komisarjevsky is charged with one count each of first-degree assault, first-degree aggravated sexual assault, first-degree burglary, first-degree arson, conspiracy to commit arson in the first-degree, first-degree robbery and risk of injury to a minor, plus two counts of first-degree larceny and four counts of first-degree kidnapping.
Corrections Department records show Komisarjevsky was sentenced in January 2003 to nine years in prison for second-degree burglary. He was released to a halfway house in June 2006 and was granted parole 3½ months ago. Official records show several spellings for Komisarjevsky's name.

Hayes is charged with one count each of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, first-degree burglary, first-degree arson, conspiracy to commit arson in the first-degree, first-degree robbery and risk of injury to a minor, plus two counts of first-degree larceny and four counts of first-degree kidnapping.

His criminal record dates back to at least 1980. In October 2003, he was sentenced to five years in prison for third-degree burglary. In June 2006 he was released to a halfway house, but was sent back to prison five months later for drug use. He was granted parole less than three months ago.
Corrections officials said in a statement that both suspects "were deemed to be appropriate candidates for supervised parole in the community based on their criminal history, which involved the minimum level of violence." Both suspects were on a weekly reporting schedule with their parole officers "and had been in full compliance with the requirements of their release, including being employed on a fulltime basis."

Brian Garnett, a corrections department spokesman, would not say where the two men were employed.

Department of Correction Capt. Edward Ramsey said neither man had been incarcerated at the same prison facility at the same time during their time behind bars.
Robert Pidgeon, chief executive officer of Community Solutions Inc., which runs Silliman House and six other halfway houses as part of a $4 million contract with the Department of Corrections, said he doubted the two men were assigned to the same employer while at the halfway house, but said, "They certainly saw each other."

Although Pidgeon said he did not have a detailed report of their behavior and performance at Silliman House, he said he doubted there were problems prior to Hayes' failing the urine test.

"I can tell they [corrections] would yank them back quickly if there was a problem," Pidgeon said. "They're very good about that." Pidgeon said the profile of a typical CSI client is "a younger, non-violent individual with a history of drug use or alcohol dependency." When it was noted that Hayes, who is 44, didn't quite fit that description, Pidgeon said, "He's older than the inmate population in general. It's a young bunch."

Although corrections officials described each man as having a "minimal violence history," Pidgeon emphasized that their prior criminal histories involved burglary. "That's going into an occupied premises for the purpose of committing a felony," he said.

At a sentencing hearing for Komisarjevsky in 2002, authorities involved in the case said he would wear military night vision goggles and break into homes to steal electronic items while his victims slept.

The judge, James Bentivegna, called Komisarjevsky a "cold, calculating predator." The prosecutor in the case, Ronald Dearstyne, said at the time that Komisarjevsky began robbing homes when he was 14 in Cheshire. Dearstyne told the judge that Komisarjevsky would carry a military backpack, equipped with items including a knife, to rip through window screens.

July 24, 2007, 08:39 PM
CHESHIRE - Komisarjevsky had told police he burglarized homes to pay for a drug habit. But the prosecutor and judge said his actions were more calculating than those of a junkie needing cash for a fix. At his sentencing, Komisarjevsky apologized to his victims.

Komisarjevsky's home on North Brooksvale Road is about two miles from the Petits home. A man at the North Brooksvale address gave the Courant a written statement Tuesday morning but would not answer questions. The statement read: "This is an absolute tragedy. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the Petit family and all those whose lives they touched. We cannot understand what would have made something like this happen. There is nothing else we can say at this time."

Hayes has a long history of burglary and larceny convictions going back 25 years, and accumulated 23 disciplinary actions while in prison dating back to the 1980s, authorities said in court today.
Investigators found a car - believed to belong to one of the suspects - in the Quarry Village subdivision about 1-1/2 miles away from the Petits'.

On Monday, investigators had not determined what brought the men to the Petits' home.

William Petit was listed in serious but stable condition at St. Mary's Hospital in Waterbury Monday night. Officials at St. Mary's Tuesday evening declined to give out any new information on his condition.

Neighbor Kim Ferraiolo said she had just spoken to William Petit about 7:30 p.m. Sunday and nothing seemed amiss.

"They were the nicest people, just a great family," said Ferraiolo, who moved next door about three years ago.

Ferraiolo said a neighbor alerted her to the fire Monday morning and she tried to call Petit at work, but was told he never showed. She said Petit likes to tend to his flower beds and "has a great sense of humor."

Ferraiolo, like other stunned neighbors, tried to understand why the Petits' home was picked. "It's just hard to understand how someone could do something like that."

Investigators believe the two men barged into the home sometime after 3 a.m. and held family members hostage for hours, sources close to the case said. Shortly after businesses opened at 9 a.m., one of the men took Jennifer Hawke-Petit to the Bank of America branch office in Maplecroft Plaza several miles away and forced her to withdraw money.

Shortly after they returned to the house - as police were racing to the scene - the suspects set fire to the residence and fled. Cheshire Town Manager Michael Milone praised police and firefighters for risking their lives responding to a dangerous crime scene.

Neighbors said that shortly after the fire was extinguished, a firefighter climbed a ladder to enter a second-floor bedroom window in search of possible victims and then quickly backed out. Police SWAT team members then moved in and secured the home, witnesses said.

"I just can't say enough good things about how proud I am of our police officers and firefighters," Milone said. He credited his police officers for making a quick arrest.

"They exemplified the best in public service," Milone said. "Without their great work this could have been a far worse tragedy." William Petit, 50, is a prominent endocrinologist and medical director of the Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate at The Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain. He is a past president of the state chapter of the American Diabetes Association and was elected to the ADA Hall of Merit in 1994.

Jennifer Hawke-Petit, 48, was a nurse and co-director of the Richmond Health Center at Cheshire Academy. She had been a nurse at Yale-New Haven Hospital and was a Penn State graduate. She also had been involved with the Girl Scouts and Habitat for Humanity.
At Cheshire Academy, a private day and boarding school, she was considered a friend, a peer and a confidant for students as well as a health care provider.

"If anybody ever wanted someone taking care of the kids when they were not right there with you, it was her," said Philip Moore, the school's director of communications. "She was a mom and a health care professional. That's how she approached her job." Hayley Petit graduated in June from Miss Porter's, where she was co-editor in chief of Chautauqua, the school's "journal of scholarly writing." She was also co-captain of the crew team and a member of the cross country and basketball teams. She was set to attend Dartmouth College, her father's alma mater, where she planned to study medicine.

Jennifer Hawke-Petit was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis eight years ago. The family was active in the Connecticut chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society and Hayley had formed a fundraising team called "Hayley's Hope" that raised more than $54,000 for the cause over the past eight years.

Michaela was looking to continue her older sister's legacy by adding "Michaela's Miracle" to the campaign.


That's the link to the article. This happened about an hour away. Such a terrible thing, I am very glad and proud that there are firearms in my house to protect me and my family!!!

July 27, 2007, 01:26 PM

Did you even skim through the stickied notes at the top of the forum? (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=270671)


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