NCPD Top Dog Krolikowski Wanted to Arrest Officer Pickering for Assault

A criminal incident report on New Canaan police officer Fred Pickering shows NCPD second in command, Leon Krolikowski, thought there was probable cause to arrest Officer Pickering for 3rd degree assault and 2nd degree Breach of Peace. Pickering was put on paid leave in late February after a young black man, Joel Anderson, filed a complaint that he’d been the victim of racial slurs and a physical altercation by Officer Picker and a local Hockey coach Rob Benson, age 41, at a popular restaurant in New Canaan. The incident report released to today via a freedom of information request also shows Krolikowski filed an arrest warrant application for Robert Benson for Intimidation based on bigotry of bias in the 3rd degree, Threatening 2nd degree, 2nd degree Breach of Peace. On April 12th Officer Krolikowski states he asked States Attorney David Cohen to sign both arrest warrants. But New Canaan residents had to wait until June 3rd for Attorney David Cohen to decided he was not going to sign the warrants and would not prosecute either of the accused men on the behalf of Joel Anderson.

Bar witnesses, who were not part of Anderson’s party, state they saw Officer Pickering and his friend Rob Benson as the ‘aggressive’ people in the fight and some say Pickering’s group started it. Vinay Rival, a key witness who saw the fight, stated in a sworn interview with Officer Krolikowski the exchange was ‘racially charged’ and Benson towered over Anderson while he was sitting at a table asking him ‘why are you here and ‘you can’t be here’. Rival then sees Pickering come over to Joel’s table, put a clicked fist on the table and ‘say something to the effect of I’m a police officer be careful’. Rival describes what Pickering said as threatening although no specific threats where said. Rival also confirms he saw Pickering push the young black man with two hands to the chest. The incident is described as one sided in that Anderson never was aggressive or advanced on Pickering or Benson. It was Rival’s view that Pickering was intoxicated. None of the witnesses appear to remember either party calling Joel a Nigger though. Rival told Officer Krolikowski in his interview he’d never previously meet or seen the men involved in the fight.

Town records show Robert Benson lives with his family (wife Darlene Benson) in a home valued at $3mn at 66 Parish Road.

Previous press reports said Joel started the fight by calling Officer Pickering a pig but the case-incident report shows none of the eye witnesses heard Joel say this; it was only Pickering who stated that line. The core group of New Canaan friends with Pickering who were kicked out of the Tequila Mockingbird bar by bartender Jason Geane were Kevin Arnone, Robert Benson and Sean Hurley. Benson admitted to drinking at least 4 beers prior to coming to Tequila Mockingbird. The bartender stated in his police interview the group was ‘buzzed up but lucid’.

One of the things that is troubling about this report is I asked NCPD Chief Edward Nadriczny on May 29th if it was true that David Cohen was sitting on an arrest warrant application for Pickering and he emailed me back that this was ‘absolutely not true’. I told him my source was a member of the force. With the Chief’s denial I decided not to report it. Now today it appears he either didn’t understand my question or flat out lied to this reporter.

Pickering is still on paid leave while Officer Krolikowski conducts an internal affairs investigation looking at if Pickering violated conduct in the police manual. The Chief who is set to retire next week has not responded to email questions on why he told me my tip about the arrest application was not true when their own internal report shows it was.

Stay tuned for an in-depth report on the witnesses and evidence gathered in this alleged hate fight including an interview with Joel’s mother who was also a witness to some of the events.

Photo is Robert Benson March 2013

Officer Fred Pickering Case Report


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  1. I find this story almost implausible, (made for prime time TV-CBS,) now we have the “Fox in the hen house” (no, he is not the Dessert Fox). How is Leon going to answer the FOIA request(s) on his own bad behavior, and now that he does not have Edward blocking those requests and making calls to force people to withdrawn them. (OBSTRUCTION OF FEDERAL LAW) Edward, I am sure you are glad to be gone, but you are still not off the hook, liability, liability, liability, (personal) is still attached, and hopefully some jail time will be ordered by a Federal Judge. This will be your chance to throw Leon under the bus.
    Leon, I hope what you do is try to block, stall or do anything that impedes FOIA requests on yourself, including the ones on the “Job” (OTJ) time sheets and your vacation sheets, (yes, they will be matched up to all of the time you have made a personal appearance in court, so you can expect to be dragged into Federal court on a show cause if you do anything to stop any FOIA request that come in with your name on it. David Cohen, Supervisor in the Stamford Court AG’s office (your buddy) will be copied on all FOIA request as well as the U.S. Attorney’s office, and including the FBI. East Haven, remember that town name.  Leon. 🙂
    The Police commission (Cole) has made one big mistake, and Bender is the one who should have been chosen as the interim “Acting Police Chief”. Oh, what the heck, Gods country needs some drama with the acting Police Chief, and God forbid, the Police commission brings in a “Real Leader”, who can take charge, and kick Cole out of the Police headquarters, and stops him from trying to be the PC and the chief at the same time. Yes, Mr. Cole, the cops don’t like you in there. Mr. Cole, going forward, you will be copied on Leon named FOIA requests, and the same applies to you, impede, and you too will be brought before a Federal Judge on a show cause motion, why you should not be held in contempt.
    The PC needs to spend more time at his church, and help them raise money for that nice little church, overlooking Gods country. Yes, it is God country………..well, or it used to be.
    We have too many public servants trying to compete with the residents, i.e. income wise, and business savvy. I am happy to be living in my little town of Maria Stein, watching the corn grow………………………….Goodbye New Canaan (Park Avenue, and give me that countryside)
    P.S. Anyone know where I can find 700K ? Good Job town officials…. (cut and paste into browser)

    FYI: Reach out to them, they are our friends, and you’re protected against the town officials.
    It’s our top priority among criminal investigations—and for good reason.
    Public corruption poses a “fundamental” threat to our national security and “way of life”. It impacts everything from how well our borders are secured and our “neighborhoods protected”…to “verdicts handed down in courts”…to the quality of our roads, schools, and other government services. And it takes a significant toll on our pocketbooks, “wasting billions” in tax dollars every year.

    The FBI is singularly situated to combat this corruption, with the “skills and capabilities” to run “complex undercover operations and surveillance”.

    • Dorothy, I caught your reference to the Commissioner’s mistake in regards to overlooking Captain Bender for the chief position. Knowing Bender, his work, ethics, intelligence and leadership skills I couldn’t agree more. Rumor has it it was because he was lacking advanced degrees. Too bad they didn’t realize that the skills he has can’t be taught in school. They lost a good man who could have created some much needed and positive change in the department. Then again maybe that’s not what they were looking for….hmmmmmm

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