standing Stonington Police Department

STONINGTON — A 22-year-old Preston man is facing charges after the police said he caused a disturbance after he was kicked out of a local bar, allegedly tried to force his way into a home at the Brookside Village Apartments and eventually passed out in the nearby woods where he was found by a police K-9 unit.

Stonington police charged the man, Darnell Bartha, with violation of pistol permit requirements, illegal possession of weapons in a motor vehicle, possession of narcotics, possession of narcotics with the intent to sell, criminal attempt to commit home invasion, interfering with police, second-degree threatening and two counts of breach of peace.

Bartha was arraigned in New London Superior Court of Tuesday and released after posting a $50,000 bond, court records show.

According to a police report, Bartha was told to leave the Handlebar Cafe in Pawcatuck shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday when he "suddenly began to act aggressively" toward staff and patrons. The police said after leaving the bar, the caller reported that Bartha punched out the passenger window of his car and fled on foot, heading toward nearby Davis-Standard.

When officers arrived, they found the passenger door to Bartha's car wide open with the window smashed out. Officers also discovered a loaded revolver in the car, which was seized as evidence. The police said Bartha did not have a pistol permit.

A Norwich K-9 unit was called for assistance and conducted a track, which led the police into a wooded area near the bar. Officers found a small bag belonging to Bartha which contained an empty gun holster, ammo which matched that found inside the revolver and two bags of cocaine. The police also found Bartha's sneakers, which were left a short distance from the bag.

While a few officers collected the evidence, the K-9 unit continued its track and followed Bartha's path of travel toward Davis-Standard, where officers found Bartha's shirt. The track then led to Stonington High School.

The K-9 was still on high school property when police then received a 911 call from a resident of Brookside Lane, who reported that Bartha was pounding on the victim's front door and trying to force his way in. The victim was able to push the door closed and after a moment, Bartha fled to a wooded area behind the complex.

The K-9 track was reset, the police said, and led officers directly from Brookside Village into the woods where Bartha was lying unconscious. "His knuckles were bloody and he had no shoes on," the police report said.

Bartha regained consciousness as he was being tending to by EMTs. Stonington police said he was both "physically and verbally abusive" to EMTs, according to the police report, although no injuries were reported to emergency workers. 

Bartha was taken by police escort to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London and later released into police custody following treatment. 

According to Connecticut judicial records, Bartha did not enter a plea at the arraignment hearing. He is due back in New London Superior Court for a plea hearing on Nov. 5. 

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