Gun-toting student protests house search

A 31-year-old Yale School of Medicine psychiatry resident said to have called himself the “Savior of Death” is disputing a police search of his home on Sunday in which the authorities seized about a dozen weapons, including two sniper rifles and two 12-gauge shotguns.

Without a warrant, NHPD officers searched the apartment of Robert Remington on Sunday night after arresting him at Dolci Piano Lounge at 932 State St earlier that night. Once police received counsel from the New Haven State’s Attorney’s Office to search Remington’s home, they seized the weapons and charged Remington with two counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, the police report said.

Remington was also charged with carrying a pistol without a permit, illegal carrying of a firearm under the influence of drugs or alcohol and second-degree breach of peace, according to the arrest report.

His lawyer, John R. Williams of John R. Williams and Associates LLC, said Remington denies all allegations against him and will plead not guilty to all charges at a plea hearing this afternoon. Williams added that the state’s attorney’s office adviser, inspector Robert Lawlor, did not have a law degree.

He said there is a “very strong argument” that the search violated the Fourth Amendment.

“If my analysis is correct, that will lead to a very [large] reduction of charges, and I’ll see what we got,” Williams said Wednesday.

Stating that the investigation was ongoing, an NHPD spokesman declined to comment about the specifics of the case. Lawlor could not be reached for comment, and the state’s attorney’s office did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday.

Police arrived at the lounge after a bartender, Lauren Proto, told emergency dispatchers that a drunk Remington was saying he “likes to hurt people and wants to kill people,” according to the arrest report.

NHPD officer Renee Forte wrote in her report that police interviewed another bartender, Christopher Bennett, who said the Yale physician “began yelling that he ‘loved violence’ and that he wanted to ‘kill everyone.’ ”

Remington “stated that he was the ‘Savior of Death,’ ” Bennett said, according to Forte’s report. “He was a part of a ‘revolution.’ ”

Remington denies the report: “He doesn’t remember saying anything at all weird,” Williams said. And although Remington did drink two drinks, as the report indicates, Williams said Remington disputes that he was drunk.

Police decided to visit Remington’s home because they were alarmed by his “angry and delusional rants,” Forte said. Police also found receipts for a sniper rifle in his wallet, she added. When police arrived at the house on Mechanic Street, a sergeant contacted Lawlor, who said that a warrantless search would be fine because of the “public safety concern,” according to Forte’s report.

At the house, the police seized nine weapons — including two shotguns, two assault rifles and two sniper rifles — and ammunition for each. The seized weapons led to the two charges of illegal possession of an assault weapon, police said. The two charges will be considered as class D felonies — if a judge finds Remington guilty, he would face up to five years of prison or $5,000 in fines for each. But if a judge deems the search illegal, the two charges will be dropped.

(Remington’s other three charges, however, could not be dropped based on the legality of the search.)

On the weapons, Williams said Remington “does have an interest in firearms.”

“He comes from the West,” he said. “I guess that comes with the territory.”

Williams added that Remington may have been unfamiliar with the state laws against assault weapons.

Williams declined a request to interview Remington, who was released Tuesday. He added that he did not know where his client was, but said that Remington was not at his home because police had seized his apartment keys, as well as his car keys and cell phone. Williams said he plans to file a motion today to have the keys and cell phone released. “He’s about homeless at this point,” Williams said.

Remington works with veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder at the West Haven Veteran Affairs hospital. His positions with the hospital and the Medical School have not been compromised, Williams said, and officials at both institutions have been “supportive” of the resident.

But Remington is not allowed to see hospital patients until the trial is completed. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs did not return a request for comment Wednesday.

Comments

  • hmm

    I wonder if he is the person who has been ranting on all the Annie Le posts about how Yale students should be allowed to carry handguns…

    Also you reporters are total geniuses for printing the bartenders’ names who called the cops. Do you WANT them to die or something?

  • Yale GSAS

    Oh come on, drunk or not, you can’t say things like that and expect to be able to keep a stockpile of weaponry. I imagine even the extreme “Right to bear arms” advocates would agree, seeing as they bolster “responsible” gun ownership. This guy may or may not deserve to be arrested, but he is clearly too unstable to have ownership of such dangerous equipment.

  • @Yale GSAS

    The scariest part is that he’s supposed to be treating psychiatric patients, not be one himself!

  • Upset

    I’m sorry, but coming from the West is not an excuse for carrying illegal firearms and having a stockpile of them in your apartment. Also, how can his postions at Yale and the VA not be compromised? Do you mean to tell me that he can walk into my work at any time since he has not been tried yet? So what if he can’t work with patients, he can still put me and my coworkers in danger!

  • wow

    I agree with poster #3!

  • Verum6

    I come from the West and I can tell you the we all do not carry guns! Many of us support gun control laws. His attorney sounds like he believes the West is the imaginary one of John Wayne movies. Dr. Remington sounds like it is he who needs the psychiatric care.

  • Elihu

    So lowly animal techs aren’t the only nut jobs on campus. As a supporter of the 2nd Ammendment, I say if he’s nuts take his guns and melt them.

  • Christopher Bieda ’83

    I’m sorry, but being from medical-marijuana-served-portions-of-California (or Amsterdam, or wherever) is not an excuse for carrying illegal drugs and having a stockpile of them in your apartment.

    Would we be so blase about the Fourth Amendment if a Yale med student got busted for possession of something other than a gun?

    As far as access to the workplace is concerned, would “Upset” prefer that anyone charged with a crime of violence (which nutty “Savior” is not) be kept behind bars until his or her case is adjudicated? Kinda flips the presumption of innocence on its head.

  • Upset

    Actually, yeah I would like him to be kept behind bars until after his trial. There isn’t much innocence to be presumed if you saw the list of the stockpile of guns and ammunitions in his apartment. When you threaten the well being of others, you should be treated accordingly. At least put him in a place where he can receive mental care!

  • sb

    what is Yale’s responsibility in all of this? he was supposedly “on leave” from his position in psychiatry. why? did anyone in psychiatry (hello, a bunch of psychiatrists!) see anything going on with this guy? did they not speak up? maybe to protect his “rights”? to not rock the boat with a trainee, an MD? It’s pretty shocking that this case would come up the same week where another Yale employee is now charged with murder. Yale is always worried about campus security, seemingly to keep “others” (read Townies) out. Perhaps we should be more worried and active about who is inside.

  • Dave Robertson

    1) It’s only a “sniper rifle” in the hands of a trained sniper. Otherwise, it’s just a rifle. Maybe “sniper rifle” is mediaspeak for a scoped bolt-action rifle?

    2) If he really said what the article reports he said, and he was carrying illegally and while intoxicated, I hope he pays the price in court. That sort of behavior cannot be tolerated. If this just a story, I hope he is found innocent. Either way, justice must be served.

    3) While I find AWB’s ridiculous and unconstitutional, CT law is still the law, and ignorance does not excuse you from it.

    4) I think he does have a good argument against illegal search and seizure. It shouldn’t be that easy for the government to deny you a right.

  • RobC

    After arresting him earlier in the evening for illegally possessing a firearm (no permit and intoxicated) and making threats of mass-murder, how hard would it have been to get a search warrant? What is the motivation for going without one, allowing a Constitutional defense in what sounds like a really clear cut case?

  • Alum

    He’s not a student. He’s a psychiatry resident.

  • Richard

    Thanks to ex-governor Lowell Weicker, this State — once known as The Arsenal Of Democracy — has over-complicated laws about firearms of many types. First, an “assault weapon” is any weapon of any kind which can be used in an attack, and which is of course equally effective if used for defense !! Second, if the Doctor was drunk and disorderly and carrying without a Connecticut carry permit, he is another one of these brilliant idiots.

    The process to obtain a legitimate carry permit for Connecticut is not costly, and only slightly more involved than getting a drivers license. In the class for carry permits it is made clear that drunken or stoned behavior doesn’t comport well with responsible self-defense, at all.

  • The Contrarian

    No calls for raising the drinking age to 40… 50? After all, Prohibition worked out SO well. And perhaps Drunk & Disorderly charge would carry minimum prison sentence. Sure wouldn’t want anyone to be “uncomfortable” so we just need a lot more preemptive searches. And the whole Bill of Rights was written by a dead, racist, sexist, rich white guy who has no relevance to our glorious enlightened Present.

  • No Perry Mason

    Setting aside Mr. Remington’s apparent mental state (loony tunes) and the constitutional merits of the search and seizure (dubious), what is the story with this guy’s lawyer? Pretty much the worst public comments about a pending criminal matter that one could think of. Unless you’re planning to throttle the prosecution with an ignorance-of-the-law, blackout-drunk, disposition-of-Westerners theory. Also, gotta love the half-cocked constitutional musings (“if my analysis is correct…”). And he has no clue where his client is, which is a great fact to announce publicly for no reason when there are clear questions about mental stability. No comment: give it a whirl sometime.