Improperly standing on a roadway was the only thing Pablo Gomez, 32, was doing wrong before a police officer spoke with him, according to police reports. That carries a maximum fine of $50.
But what happened next (and after that, and after that) got Gomez arrested, with a bond of $7,500. Norwalk police gave this account (an accusation not proven in court) of the incident:
Shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday, an officer driving around the area of Garner Street, not far from its intersection with West Avenue in South Norwalk, saw a vehicle pull up to a Hispanic male and a black male on the street.
The officer had to leave for another call, but when he returned, he found the same two men in the same spot on the travel part of the roadway. Since the area is known to police for numerous trespassing complaints and narcotics arrests, the officer stopped to ask why the two men were standing on the roadway.
The black man said they weren't doing anything. The Hispanic man, Pablo Gomez, balled his hands into fists and stared at the officer, who asked them both for identification.
The other man gave the officer some identification. Gomez told the officer that it was in his "[expletive deleted] pocket." The officer directed Gomez to place his hands on the patrol car so the officer could retrieve the identification from his pocket.
The officer noted Gomez' address on Cardinal Street and told Gomez he wasn't familiar with that road. He asked Gomez where it was.
"Go [same expletive deleted] GPS it," Gomez said. Gomez then became verbally abusive and continued swearing at the officer. Gomez' friend told him several times to be quiet.
Gomez was so loud that lights went on in several homes in the neighborhood. The police officer said he saw people looking out their windows to see what was going on.
Gomez asked why he was stopped. The officer told him he was stopped because it was nighttime and Gomez was standing in the roadway. Gomez took his hands off the police car. The officer told him to put his hands back on the police car. Gomez used the same expletive. He put his hands back on the car, then took them off again and again swore (the same expletive) when told to put them back.
At this point, Gomez swung toward the officer, who shoved him into the vehicle. The officer, while attempting to gain control of Gomez, had a flashlight in one of his hands, which hit Gomez on the right side of the head as Gomez continued to struggle.
An ambulance was called and took Gomez to Norwalk Hospital, where his friend asked him several times to stop swearing and be compliant. Several times at the hospital, others asked Gomez several times to lower his voice. By 3 a.m. he was discharged, arrested and brought to police headquarters to have his arrest processed.
Gomez was charged with breach of peace, improper use of a highway by a pedestrian and interfering with an officer. He was held on $7,500 bond and was scheduled to appear Oct. 9 in state Superior Court in Norwalk.