Body camera footage shows illegal bonfire in East Haven where police say snowballs, ice were thrown at officers, firefighters


EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — We received the body camera footage Wednesday from an incident in East Haven on Monday where police said snowballs and ice were thrown at firefighters and officers after neighbors reported seeing an illegal bonfire.

RELATED: East Haven PD: Two arrested as crowd tries to stop police, fire crews from shutting down large bonfire gathering

In the police body camera video, a bonfire burns in the backyard with a crowd in the yard. As officers walk up to the Bradford Avenue home, firefighters said they had snowballs thrown at them. You can see one land as police arrive.

Police ask the crowd more than once who threw the snow and ice. No one takes responsibility.

Glenn Degray, of East Haven, explains to one officer they gathering is to mourn the loss of his son. He then tells officers he will start a riot: “He died today. He’s my son. If you guys start something, I can make phone calls and have half the [expletive] town here. You want a riot? I’ve done it before.”

Tensions rise. At some point a man picks up a piece of an exterior staircase railing.

Another man police say is Michael Ciarleglio, of Wallingford, approaches police from behind. Officers arrest him. One officer scolds him, “This is not an appropriate way to act, even if you’re grieving.”

As they talk things out, the fire burns out.

Officers then put Degray in cuffs.

“Alright, they’re arresting me, everybody…Hey Meg, they’re taking me away on my son’s death,” Degray yells into the crowd.

Both men were later released on $2,500 bonds.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Donate Today