Off-duty Cop Punches Driver in Traffic Altercation

( – An off-duty School Resource Officer (SRO) was charged with third-degree assault and breach of peace after he punched a man for honking at him in December 2023. Allen Ganter, a corporal for the Meriden Police Department, was sitting at a red light when a man named Thomas Brocuglio pulled up behind him. Brocuglio’s company van had an interior and exterior camera. It captured him expressing frustration that Ganter was not turning right at the red light. He said a few choice words inside the cab, honked and then threw up his middle finger toward Ganter.

The video showed Brocuglio smiling and rolling down his window as Ganter approached his vehicle. Ganter said “You can’t take a right on red here, you assh—e,” but Brocuglio pointed out that there was no sign saying not to turn right on red. Brocuglio proceeded to accuse Ganter of not paying attention and playing on his phone. Ganter claimed that he was just moving things around in his bag and denied being on his phone. Ganter then threatened to write Brocuglio a ticket and make a call to his boss for the honk. Brocuglio asked Ganter to give him his badge number.

Brocuglio’s large Great Dane began barking seconds before Ganter reached in and punched his owner in the face. Brocuglio was visibly taken aback, telling Ganter “You are going to get arrested for assaulting a civilian.” Ganter returned to his truck and drove away. Brocuglio called 911 to report the incident. A warrant was issued for the arrest of Ganter after Brocuglio’s statement and observation of his swollen face. Police went to Ganter’s home and asked him for a statement, but initially appeared to play off Brocuglio’s accusation. He asked the officers if there were any charges he could press against Brocuglio for yelling at him. He ultimately admitted to the punch and said it was his fault. Officers also observed redness on his right hand.

The Meriden police determined that Ganter broke the rules of conduct after an internal investigation. He was permanently removed as SRO and was placed on a five-day suspension. He will also be required to take three years of de-escalation training but will not lose his job.

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