Police Officer Placed On Desk Duty Following Mom’s Claim He Snubbed Children Seeking Help

City Police Officer Peter Kemeza has been dispatched to desk duty after a mother claims he blew off her two children who sought his assistance after being approached by an unknown male near Waltersville School last Monday.

Gloria Byfield complained to police after learning her frightened 13-year-old daughter had approached traffic officer Kemeza who was in his patrol car assigned to Waltersville School. The officer allegedly responded he was off duty and directed the teen to go home.

Kemeza was ordered to desk duty on Monday pending an investigation by the Office of Internal Affairs.

“The investigation is underway and is a priority for the Office of Internal Affairs,” said Assistant Police Chief James Nardozzi in a statement. “We teach our kids to go to a police officer if they are scared or in trouble. I taught that to my son. Investigators are still gathering the facts, but I can’t stress enough how seriously we take these allegations.”

According to police, detectives have gone door-to-door in the East Side neighborhood looking for potential witnesses or any home or business that might have a video security system. Police also have increased the police presence, both with squad cars and unmarked vehicles.

“Our top priority has been and will be keeping our children safe,” said Nardozzi.

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26 comments

    1. carolanne–appears he doesn’t take his job too seriously. His attitude is unbecoming that of a police officer. Maybe he should retire, he certainly has lost his common sense and is out of touch with what his job requires of him.

  1. Pathetic … enough said! You’d think the guy was making minimum wage. Union? Yeah. In the real world, fired.

    On a side note, congratulations to Mayor Finch for receiving an award for small business and revitalizing Bridgeport. This sounded quite impressive on News 12.

    I am just waiting for someone to comment this was a political payback award. This is a real positive for Bridgeport’s image and another bullet point on a four-color piece of political propaganda. Whether you like Bill or not, you have to give him a pat on the back for a job well done.

    Maybe he will speak on behalf of Don Clemons Jr. at his hearing on Sept. 30, because he has clout and then his adversaries can use that against him the way they did with John Fabrizi.

    1. Steve, you cannot even tell us what the award was and who presented it to the mayor. You cannot tell us if this was a national award, a regional award or something created by Paul Pimpanelli. My guess is it is one of these “green” jobs awards or “green” small business awards for recycling mattresses or press releases.

        1. Steve,
          Here it is. The US Conference of Mayors. Isn’t Finch a Vice P{resident in this Organization?

          PULL-ease Steve. And when he talks about new small businesses downtown, is he counting twice a location where one opens and closes and another opens?

          No statistics, no national rankings, no independent assessment of hard, comparable data.

          And, didn’t I call it? Pimpaneli was one of the speakers. Too funny to talk about.

          BRIDGEPORT — Mayor Bill Finch received the “Small Business Advocate Award” during a ceremony Tuesday at the Margaret E. Morton Government Center.

          The recognition was a part of a Small Business Day event hosted by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the City of Bridgeport.

          “Mayors across the country are investing in the future by helping small businesses to grow and create jobs,” said Tom Cochran, director of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Mayor Finch is a leader in this arena, and his tireless work to expand job opportunities and revitalize the Park City through small business development are to be applauded.”

          Finch cited the city’s development efforts, including the Eco-Technology Park, and the number of new businesses, especially downtown.

          Sheila Hummel of the state Department of Economic and Community Development, Bernard Sweeney of the U.S. Small Business Administration, and Paul Timpanelli, head of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council also spoke at the event.

  2. Autumn is here and like the annual occurrence of leaves falling off the trees, Bass Pro construction has failed again to meet the promises by the city. They missed both the “summer” and “30 days” statements. Atta boy, Bill!!! A real pat on the back for the taxpayers of Bridgeport. A real positive for the city of Bridgeport.

    This is pathetic:
    Projected to cost $68.5 million, the 150,000-square-foot store is expected to employ 237 full- and part-time workers. A formal groundbreaking is planned for Labor Day, so photographs can show the vertical construction underway, Christoph added. Soon after, the developer said, he plans to announce three smaller stores to be built on the triangle-shaped parcel next to the Interstate 95, exit 28 off-ramp. At that time, he said, leases will have been signed and renderings will be displayed. Although he wouldn’t say who those other tenants would be, Christoph said they won’t be big stores. “As you might expect, it’s not a big site and it’s right next to the (I-95) on- and off-ramps. So it’ll be a convenience kind of situation,” he said. Adam Wood, Mayor Bill Finch’s chief of staff, called the stores “high-quality national tenants.”

    www .ctpost.com/news/article/Construction-to-start-on-Bass-Pro-Shops-5706734.php

    www .ctpost.com/printpromotion/article/Bass-Pro-site-work-begins-5571311.php

    www .city-data.com/forum/connecticut/2146366-bass-pro-site-work-begins.html

    1. Just how the infrastructure improvements were to take six months, that’s now going on 1.5 years. They are full of crap. Steel was to be on site in August. YEAH RIGHT. October is now creeping up on us and there is no sign of anything. No trailer offices, no steel being dropped off, NOTHING. I have a feeling something went wrong and they aren’t letting the news out.

  3. Food World is closing on Huntington Turnpike after being opened approximately one year. This is the second supermarket to close in that location in just the last few years.

    Where are the press releases and photo-ops with Mayor Finch, Mike Marella and Richard Paoletto regarding this exciting news?

    1. Maria P,
      Food World was great years ago when they were known for their great priced vegetables and fresh fish. They were closed when Stop & Shop planned a mega store.
      The new Food world was welcomed into a beautifully appointed strip center that was barren for 25 years. I give Richie Paoletto and Bob Curwen some credit for attempting to get the property upgraded. The problem with the new Food World is they were so pathetically overpriced it was a joke. Food Bazaar has become the neighborhood choice as well as Price Rite. I went there for their grand opening and left completely empty-handed. I do grocery shopping three times a week. Stop & Shop, Shoprite, Food Bazaar and Price Rite. Food World could not compete on any front. It is not as though there wasn’t a need in the neighborhood. The prices were pathetic! I have many many hobbies. Grocery shopping is one of them simply because I like to cook and eat and enjoy many ethnic cuisines so I need to go to stores that carry a wide variety of cultural vegetables and condiments. Food World offered nothing!

      I do not think a press release for a store going out of business is conducive to the esteem of the area or necessary.

      1. Steven–I agree with you. Went for lunch at Vazzy’s a few months back and stopped in the Food World. I was not impressed, and yes, the prices were higher than the other stores you mentioned. That was my first and only visit.

  4. Wow, such pessimists. Here is something that should make all of you negative Steelepointe-mongers ecstatic.

    If Steelepointe does not start making serious headlines in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and the Connecticut Post in the next few months, then there is only one guarantee. The city of Bridgeport will most definitely have a new Mayor. I believe Bass Pro will be the least exciting of the Steelepointe fixtures. I may be accused of wearing rose-colored glasses, but if the City and the developers cannot excite investors in waterfront property off 95 after 30 years then honestly, let’s just fucking build 3000 units of government-subsidized housing on the peninsula and give the Mayor an award for his commitment to affordable housing with sweeping views. We may even get a grocery store with a big sign stating we take WIC and food stamps, NOT!!!

    I believe, I believe, I believe … 🙂 and I’m not clicking some ruby slippers. I believe without my rose-colored glasses.

    1. Stevie Boy,
      I am feeling very, very good about that apology you must be drafting right about now to Chris Caruso, Ed Gomes and myself for all the nasty things you have said about our doubting the legitimacy of this developer. FINALLY you are beginning to see the light and realize taxpayers have been taken for quite a ride on the Steal Point Express.

    2. Our State legislators better get out in front on this one, we’re about to bond $22 Million, and Bass Pro Shops won’t return phone calls!

      Finch projected Bass Pro would break ground in 2013. Now it’s after his reelection Nov. 2015.

      Christoph, however, seems correct in his analysis. On March 24, Connecticut Innovations, an arm of the state’s economic development agencies, is expected to give final approval to issuing $22 million in state bonds to help build Bass Pro’s 150,000-square-foot store.
      The deal has already been approved by the state Legislature and the State Bond Commission.
      CT Post 3/11/14
      “And once the bonds are issued, you obviously want construction to start not long after because … the money’s ready to go,” said Antonio Roberto, managing director of strategic investments at Connecticut Innovations. “We wouldn’t want to issue bonds and just have the money sit out there.”

      Bass Pro has walked away from other cities like Buffalo NY, at a cost of $30 Million.
      www .youtube.com/watch?v=Z9ME9hH7O9Y

      www .youtube.com/watch?v=_Ox1DklmS94

  5. This blog never ceases to amaze me. The topic seemingly gets lost in the translation somehow. As far as that officer, he should be seriously reprimanded for his blasé and irresponsible handling of those two girls when they approached him for help. He’s a disgrace to his badge, so much for “serve & protect!”

  6. Steve, if you think a press release from Mayor Finch was not “conducive to the esteem of the area or necessary,” then why was it necessary for Mayor Finch to issue a press release announcing 60 new jobs and holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony on December 12, 2013? Food World IGA closed in March 2011 and this replaced it over two years later. What about the 60 employees?

    Why are politicians allowed to issue press releases and participate in photo-ops when it is good news, however when it is bad news they are nowhere to be found?

    onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/finch-to-celebrate-reopening-of-food-world/

    I shop at the store frequently. It is convenient, well-organized, clean and the staff is very helpful, polite and friendly. I honestly never noticed a big difference in price. Price is important, however if I have to pay more for convenience, cleanliness and friendly and courteous employees, I am all for it.

  7. In regards to Food World, their prices were high. I only purchased items on sale.
    I was surprised to see it was closing. They were advertising 20% off. Well, guess what. Prices were even higher than before. Led one to believe you were getting something of a deal. NOT! Shame on them.

    On the Police Officer incident, shame on him. What if it had been his daughter? Some POs can be rude and insensitive.

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