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Report: Darien Officers Smelled Of Alcohol On Night Of Shooting

James Martin Photo Credit: State Police
Daniel Ehret Photo Credit: State Police

DARIEN, Conn. -- Two Darien officers charged with discharging their firearms in August gave off the odor of alcohol the night of the incident and initially claimed to have set off fireworks, according to The Darien Times .

Darien police Officers James Martin and Daniel Ehret were arrested by state police on Oct. 6 and charged with second-degree breach of peace, second-degree unlawful discharge of a firearm, and reckless endangerment. The arrest stems from an incident on Aug. 1 when a vehicle owned by Martin was shot several times while parked in his driveway, according to state police.

According to a warrant application obtained by The Darien Times, state police received a 911 call shortly after midnight from an inspector at a construction site on I-95, reporting multiple gunshots in the area. The inspector said he heard 11 shots, and was concerned for the safety of his workers.

Police responded to Wakeman Road, where Martin lives, and spoke to the two officers, who were off duty at the time. According to The Darien Times, Martin initially claimed that they had set off fireworks before admitting that they had shot up his car.

A Darien police sergeant who interviewed both Martin and Ehret at the scene detected an odor of alcohol coming from both officers, according to The Darien Times. Both officers declined to give statements or submit to urine testing, the Times reported.

The vehicle, a Jeep Cherokee, had 13 bullet holes in the passenger side, according to the report.

Following their arrest, Darien Police Chief Duane Lovello released a statement , calling the allegations "disturbing."

"I cannot conceive of anything that would lead police officers to do something so profoundly dangerous and wholly irresponsible. This conduct is intolerable and does not reflect the professional values or the ethical, responsible, and moral conduct we demand of Darien police officers and their duty to the public we serve," Lovello said.

Both officers have been placed on administrative leave with pay, and an internal investigation is being conducted by Darien police.

Click here to read the full story in The Darien Times.

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