New London resident Daniel J. Golodner, who appealed his conviction to the state Supreme Court following an encounter with city police and surveyors at his Colman Street home four years ago, turned himself in at New London Superior Court Friday and began serving a six-month prison sentence.
A jury had found Golodner, 49, guilty of two counts of interfering with police and two counts of second-degree reckless endangerment, all misdemeanor crimes, following a two-day trial in October 2009. The jury found Golodner not guilty of felony charges of assault on a police officer and first-degree reckless endangerment.
Golodner had called police in August 2008 to complain that surveyors hired by neighbors with whom he had a running dispute were trespassing on his property. He wanted police to remove the surveyors from his property, which he said they had done on a prior occasion, but was told that under state law the surveyors had a right to be there.
Police said Golodner attempted to run down an officer and a surveyor with his van and kicked another officer who attempted to arrest him. Golodner testified that he simply was pulling his van out in preparation for going to work and that the officers attacked and beat him.
Sentenced to six months in prison, Golodner remained free while his case was under appeal. In a unanimous decision on June 12, the Supreme Court upheld the interfering charges and one count of reckless endangerment but overturned the other reckless endangerment conviction.
The justices opined that police acted in good faith when they entered onto Golodner’s property and assisted the surveyors, but that one of the reckless endangerment charges, added as the case went to trial, was brought after the one-year statute of limitations had expired.
Golodner, single father of a 10-year-old girl, made arrangements for his daughter to stay with her stepmother before arriving in court Friday. He declined to comment before Judge Matthew Frechette imposed the sentence.
“Basically, what this comes down to, Your Honor, is that Mr. Golodner has a number of mental health issues and he reacts in ways we would feel is not appropriate when he feels he is being wronged,” said his attorney, Jon L. Schoenhorn.
Schoenhorn, who handled the appeal, noted the Supreme Court did not address the question of whether “either a surveyor or police can just barge into a private property.”
Golodner has brought a case in federal court claiming illegal entry onto his property.