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    Monday, August 08, 2022

    Speedbowl owner charged with patronizing a trafficked person

    Glastonbury — Danbury police on Tuesday night arrested the owner of the New London-Waterford Speedbowl for allegedly patronizing a trafficked person, according to Danbury police.

    Under state statute, a trafficked person is someone who is illegally compelled to engage in sexual conduct or provide labor or services. The charge is included under the law regarding patronizing a prostitute.

    Police said they arrested Bruce John Bemer, a 63-year-old Glastonbury resident, on a warrant at his Glastonbury business, Bemer Petroleum.

    Staff at the company said they were unaware of the arrest but said business operations would not be affected by it. An employee at the Speedbowl said opening day events on May 6 would not be impacted by Bemer's arrest.

    An FBI special agent assisted police in serving the warrant. Danbury police said they did not hold the warrant and did not know who does. Together the law enforcement officers took Bemer into custody without incident about 8:40 p.m.

    Bemer, held on a $500,000 cash bond, was arraigned in Danbury Superior Court on Wednesday morning.

    Court clerks said Bemer has retained attorney John Droney and is next due in court April 26.

    Droney said he would not make a substantive comment on the case at this time, but the allegations were shocking and certainly disturbing and he would spend a significant amount of time reviewing the claims and who made them.

    The Speedbowl faced various financial issues in the years before Bemer became owner, first falling into foreclosure in 2006. At an auction sale of the track in October 2014, Bemer won with a bid of $1.75 million — a bid at least one creditor said at the time was artificially low.

    Not long after Bemer received the title of the track in February 2015, he told The Day of plans to replace the track's fencing, modify its bathrooms and perform routine maintenance including painting.

    Day Staff Writer Amanda Hutchinson contributed to this report.