William Vasilakos has a novel claim against Hartford, Connecticut Officer Michael Presti — alleging that Presti took his cellphones and then emailed revealing pictures of and videos of Presti’s girlfriend to his own phone.
The federal lawsuit concerns the arrest of Vasilakos, 39, for breach-of-peace charge in Stamford on Aug. 16, 2008. According to the lawsuit, Presti kept the confiscated phone and forwarded the images and videos to himself. Vasilakos later found evidence of the forwarding of the material.
We saw a similar case involving private misconduct involving a phone left at a McDonalds.
The Stamford police would only say that the matter was handled internally. But that handling did not involve the most obvious conclusion: termination. Absent termination, it is hard to see how the police department could handle such a matter if these allegations are true. If true, this officer stole private files and violated the privacy of two citizens. It would be hard to believe that any review board would consider such a person fit to continue as an officer.
What is also strange is the lack of a charge. Vasilakos would have preferred that the officer steal the phone rather than the more valuable images. Yet, if he stole the phone, he would have presumably been charged. Instead, he stole the far more valuable images and violated their constitutionally protected privacy . . . and is retained as an officer.