Student testifies against Stamford police officer
Stamford (CT) Advocate
February 27, 2003

STAMFORD -- A former Cloonan Middle School student testified yesterday that Stamford police Officer Walter Fields gave him wedgies, grabbed his penis and forced him to do a naked headstand in his office. The 16-year-old said he notified police soon after Fields made him pull down his pants for a spanking. Fields, 36, went on trial yesterday in state Superior Court in Stamford, charged with six counts of risk of injury to a minor and three counts of third-degree sexual assault.

The warrant detailing the allegations has remained sealed since Fields' February 2001 arrest and authorities have said only that he had "inappropriate contact" with two boys at the school.

The alleged victim said he met Fields, a school resource officer at Cloonan, while he was a seventh-grader. He said Fields would ask how he was doing and grab his ear.

By the end of the school year, the teen said Fields was giving him ear twists and wedgies. He said he encountered Fields when he attended summer school at Westhill High School.

"In eighth grade, at some point, did Officer Fields begin to touch you in any way?" Assistant State's Attorney Steve Weiss asked the alleged victim.

The teen said Fields approached him when they were alone after a basketball game and asked whether he would make the honor roll. He said Fields told him if he didn't, "this is what is going to happen to you," then gave him a wedgie.

"He pulled me up by my ear and gave me a wedgie," he said.

The teen told Weiss that Fields' actions hurt his testicles. He said Fields then sat behind his desk and gave him a snack card for the cafeteria.

The teen said the wedgies continued until Christmas of 2000, with about five or six additional incidents, during which Fields had his office door shut and paper blocking the window, he said.

Weiss asked whether it ever got "more personal than just a wedgie." The youth cited an incident that occurred before the holidays in which Fields "gave me a wedgie from the front."

The teen said his penis fell out of his boxers, prompting Fields to squeeze it. He testified that Fields held his penis for four or five minutes, threatened that he "better do good" and told him to be quiet.

Weiss asked the youngster why he didn't yell or fight back.

"I didn't think I had the power to do that," he said.

The teen said Fields submitted him to five more front wedgies before things again escalated. He said Fields had a pizza party for six boys, then took the teen to his office and locked the door.

"I went in there and he said, 'We're going to try something different, because you're getting in too much trouble,' " he said.

The teen said Fields had him take off all his clothes and stand on his head in the corner. He said Fields held his feet, touched his penis and let him down after 10 seconds.

After the incident, the alleged victim said Fields sat at his desk and played with a football.

"He tried to act like nothing was wrong," he said.

In another incident, the teen said Fields told the boy to take off his clothes so he could whip his rear end. Fields spanked him five times with a belt and five times with his hand, the teen said.

"Did you try to run away?" Weiss asked.

The teen said he didn't because he didn't want anyone to see him. He said Fields then gave him a snack card and let him go.

The alleged victim said he told his father after three more incidents, two with front wedgies and one in which Fields pulled on his penis.

Weiss showed the jury a pair of ripped boxer shorts, which the boy was allegedly was wearing in one of the last incidents. The boy said Fields ripped the underwear when he pulled it.

In his cross-examination, defense attorney John Robert Gulash asked the teen whether he recalled Cloonan students discussing whether Fields is gay, and he said yes. Gulash asked whether he recalled boys accusing him of being gay, and he said no.

Gulash asked the teen on what date he told his father about the nude headstand, and he said Feb. 13, 2001. He asked whether the teen told police about another boy doing a nude headstand, and he said no.

Gulash then asked whether the teen's father had discussed a lawsuit against the city.

"What was your understanding as to why you were going to talk to a lawyer?" Gulash said. The teen said he did not know.

Before the teen's testimony, Stamford police Lt. Jon Fontneau testified that police were notified about Fields' actions by an attorney.

"Do you recall joking with other kids a week before going to police?" Gulash said.

The teen said no.

Gulash asked the teen what type of trouble he was in at school, and he said he "talked back" to teachers.

Throughout the teen's testimony, Fields glanced at several family members sitting in the front row of the courtroom.

The teen's testimony will continue today, when the trial resumes at 10 a.m. Judge John Kavanewsky Jr. is presiding.


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