Gun, explosives case against Milford man ‘completely out of proportion,’ lawyer says

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MILFORD — A Railroad Avenue man arrested on gun and explosives charges after allegedly threatening to blow up his apartment building is doing well in psychiatric care and isn’t a threat, a lawyer representing him said Wednesday.

Zachary Gallipoli, 32, was in court in connection to a Sept. 21 incident which prompted a seven-hour police standoff, after which he was taken into custody and treated in-patient at Yale Psychiatric Hospital for more than two weeks.

He faces charges of illegal possession of an assault rifle, explosives, and large capacity magazines for alleged bomb-making materials police found in his apartment after the standoff.

An arrest warrant in that case said that that Gallipoli “possessed enough material and the required components to assemble a working explosive device/bomb.”

“A Connecticut state police bomb squad explosives test was conducted on some of the seized evidence and this test was positive for explosive materials,” Detective Sgt. Douglass Youd wrote in the warrant.

Police said Gallipoli told them he wouldn’t hurt anyone and later found a note on his phone in which he allegedly wrote that the explosive materials were for making rockets.

His lawyer in the case, William Gerace, wasn’t in court Wednesday — and declined to go into the specifics of the case when reached by phone — but said the incident “was blown completely out of proportion.”

“This young man has come to grips with some issues,” Gerace said. “He’s really not a threat to society. He’s doing really well right now and he regrets causing all this consternation in the community.”

In addition to the gun and explosives charges, Gallipoli faces charges of second-degree threatening and disorderly conduct after police arrested him on the day of his release from the hospital for allegedly threatening his mother, who was in court Wednesday asking a judge to modify a protective order to allow Gallipoli to be at her home.

A prosecutor said the court’s family services office objected to the modification because Gallipoli had not yet signed releases for records of his treatment.

A lawyer representing Gallipoli in that case, Martin Minnella, told Judge Peter Brown that Gallipoli moved out of his apartment and was living at a Branford hotel after receiving several weeks of in-patient psychiatric care, which he has continued to attend out-patient.

“He’s been doing great,” Minnella said. “He’s progressing.”

“And I appreciate all that, but why aren’t those releases signed?” Brown asked, passing the case so Gallipoli could fill out the paperwork.

Later Wednesday, the judge agreed to relax the protective order after the releases were signed and getting reassurances from Gallipoli’s mother.

“Are you in fear of your son at this time?” the judge asked her. “Do you have any concerns about being in his presence?”

“No, I am not,” she said. “I see him every single day for several hours a day.”

The judge warned Gallipoli not to threaten or assault his mother — and that he could modify the protective order again if court officials raise objections after seeing his medical records.

“I don’t know what those records are going to say,” Brown said. “I don’t know what family (services) is going to say once they review them. I want to make it abundantly clear, if they have some serious concerns once they’ve reviewed the records, they’re going to tell the state and it’ll come back to court. We’ll deal with it. But I’m hoping that this will all be well and Mr. Gallipoli will continue the services that he’s doing. We’ll go from there.”

Gallipoli declined to comment on the case outside the courtroom. He is scheduled to return to court Dec. 23.