New police officer fired after off-duty collision
A Milford police officer was fired after only a few weeks on the job after police said he left the scene of a motor vehicle accident and failed to report it.
Eric Hoff, 25, of Stratford, allegedly fled after hitting a utility pole on Pepes Farms Road while he was off duty on the night of July 27, about two weeks after his graduation from the Milford Police Academy.
Hoff was arrested on a warrant Aug. 21, charged with evading responsibility and failure to drive right.
According to an arrest warrant application, Milford police went to the area of 40 Pepes Farm Road to investigate a report of a car accident shortly before 4:30 a.m. July 27. Officers found a damaged pole, and in the woods down an embankment a black 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee that had sustained significant body damage.
According to the arrest warrant application, the driver was nowhere to be found.
A police account states that Hoff’s friend picked him up at the scene of the accident and drove him home, and that both initially denied any involvement in the accident.
Hoff maintained his innocence until “confronted with a significant amount of information gleaned through investigation,” and then said “he might have fallen asleep while driving,” the warrant application states.
Police Chief Keith Mello said he was disappointed in Hoff, who was an honors graduate from the Milford Police Academy, scoring one of the highest grade point averages in the state.
Mello said he terminated the new officer immediately.
“There is no gray area when it comes to veracity,” Mello said. “Integrity is everything.”
Mello said it’s important the public knows the department holds itself to a high standard.
Hoff was released from police custody on a promise to appear in court Sept. 19.