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May 16, 2017 6:55 PM

Officer's future at Manchester Police Department uncertain after hit-and-run incident


MANCHESTER — An officer's future with the Manchester Police Department is unclear after he allegedly committed a hit-and-run incident over the weekend.

READ: Manchester police officer charged with hitting 22-year-old woman, driving away

Steven Cornacchia, 31, of Manchester, is accused of hitting a 22-year-old female pedestrian with his car while she crossed West Merrimack Street Sunday around 1:20 a.m. Police said Cornacchia checked on the woman, who suffered a minor injury to her leg and minor abrasions, before fleeing from the scene.

"He had a duty to stay at the accident scene and report to law enforcement what occurred; report to the female that he hit who he was, and he failed to do that," said Police Chief Nick Willard.

A friend with the woman recorded the registration of Cornacchia's car, which revealed to police that the car belonged to a fellow officer.

Shortly after responding to the scene, officers went to Cornacchia's house where they found his car, police said. Police allegedly called Cornacchia on his phone as well as knocked on his door, but he did not answer.

Cornacchia showed up for work Monday, but the department immediately put him on paid administrative leave as they investigated the incident, Willard said.

"I could've had state police come in and do this investigation if I choose to but I know that we're going to do the right things, the right way, for the right reasons," Willard said.

Once the investigation showed Cornacchia had a duty to stay at the scene, the department issued an arrest warrant Monday. Cornacchia turned himself in Tuesday at 8:15 a.m. and the department changed his administrative leave to unpaid.

Willard said he is unsure why Cornacchia fled the accident. He also does not know if Cornacchia was intoxicated because officers did not locate or speak to him until the next day.

"I'm disappointed. I'm disappointed in Officer Cornacchia. He's a good man, and he made a mistake that reflects poorly on all of us. Not just the Manchester Police Department but our profession," Willard said.

Cornacchia's future with the Manchester Police Department remains unclear as the department works to complete an internal investigation.

"There is a process that I think it's important that we do our due diligence before I make any additional decisions on his future," Willard added.

The city's solicitors office is conducting the prosecution of Cornacchia, according to Willard.

Cornacchia currently faces a misdemeanor charge of conduct after an incident.

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