Bail agent captures East Lyme man in Tennessee, returns him to Connecticut

A 40-year-old East Lyme man who cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and fled the state during his trial in New London Superior Court was captured in Tennessee over the weekend and returned to Connecticut.

Michael E. Callanan was arraigned Tuesday before Judge Ernest Green Jr., who set his bond at $1.25 million and continued the case to Thursday.

Dan Venditto, an owner of Statewide Bail Bonds, said his company hired Allstate Fugitive Recovery to hunt for Callanan after he failed to show up May 9 for the second day of his trial. Judge Barbara Bailey Jongbloed ordered him re-arrested and "called," or ordered forfeited, the $150,000 bonds Callanan had obtained to ensure he would return to court.

Venditto said Statewide Bail Bonds, which had covered the bonds, would have been required to pay the state the full amount within six months if Callanan remained at large.

"We like getting on the case while the trail is still hot," Venditto said by phone Tuesday afternoon. "Financially, we're liable for the full amount, the face value of the bond. And there's the public safety part. There were victims in this particular case he had pending, and I always personally want to make sure we get these people off the streets when they don't comply with the conditions of their bonds."

Callanan is charged with threatening and harassing Timothy and Dawn Londregan, who were serving as foster parents for his infant child. He also is accused of threatening East Lyme police officers following his arrest on Sept. 1, 2016. He pleaded not guilty to second-degree harassment and four counts of first-degree threatening and opted for a jury trial. He was free on $150,000 bond and wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet as his jury trial began May 8.

On May 9, Callanan failed to show up for the second day of his trial, and probation officials reported that his GPS bracelet had "pinged" in New York. Callanan had cut off the ankle bracelet and discarded it along Interstate 95, according to Venditto.

He had appeared to be headed for Florida, but instead went to Tennessee, where he had some contacts and was moving between the homes of anybody who would take him in, Venditto said. A bail enforcement agent located him about 3 a.m. Saturday and took him into custody for failure to appear in court. The bail agent handcuffed Callanan and returned him to Connecticut on a commercial airline flight. State police from Troop H greeted the flight at Bradley International Airport and took custody of Callanan. He was presented in Hartford Superior Court on Monday, where a judge continued the case one day and transferred it back to New London.

Callanan will need a new attorney before his court case can resume. Prosecutor David J. Smith had been prepared to try him "in absentia" following his disappearance, but Callanan no longer had a lawyer. Judge Jongbloed allowed attorney Daniel M. Erwin to withdraw from the case after Erwin said he had become aware of information about Callanan that was privileged and that created a conflict of interest that prohibited him from defending Callanan any longer.

New jurors also will be needed if Callanan, newly charged with the additional crime of failure to appear in court, still wants a trial. Because Callanan had no lawyer, Judge Jongbloed declared a mistrial and dismissed the six regular jurors and two alternates who had been selected to decide the threatening case.

 k.florin@theday.com

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