Hulda Lane shooting: Tropeano due back in court May 22
The state is moving ahead in the case of Mauro Tropeano, who was charged with assault in the second degree after a 15-year-old Waterbury girl was shot trying to steal a car from his Hulda Lane property on June 5, 2017.
Tropeano, who owns Stanziato’s Wood-Fired Pizza in Danbury, will appear in court for a hearing on Tuesday, May 22, according to his lawyer, Eugene Riccio.
Riccio, who works at Bridgeport-based Young & Riccio, declined to comment further on the case Tuesday, May 8.
Tropeano was also charged with the “illegal sale, distribution, manufacture/non-drug dependent person” after Ridgefield police searched his home and discovered seven pounds of marijuana and more than 200 unmarked pills, as well as $26,000 hidden in a five-gallon water container. He was also given misdemeanor charges for interfering with an officer and for the illegal discharge of a firearm.
Tropeano was licensed to carry three handguns at the time of his arrest, according to the police affidavit for his arrest.
The May 22 hearing will mark almost a year since the shooting, when police say Tropeano fired on a group of teens who were attempting to steal his Range Rover from the driveway of his home at 28 Hulda Lane.
Police arrested the 15-year-old girl who was shot in the encounter, as well as another 16-year-old girl. Both were charged with conspiracy to commit larceny in the first degree.
The teenage girl who was shot was dropped off at Waterbury Hospital by the group after they stopped to pick up another stolen vehicle, according to the affidavit.
A female friend of the girl who was shot told police that she was shot on the street in Waterbury, but witnesses told police that both the girls drove to Ridgefield with two other males to “the Wilton area to steal and break into cars,” the affidavit said.
Tropeano has not made any statements on the charges against him since June 30 of last year, when he admitted to firing the shots that night.
“In defense of my person, I discharged my Glock 9 mm pistol,” Tropeano said through Riccio.
He initially denied firing the weapon that night when interviewed by police investigators on June 5. When police asked him to submit to a test for gunpowder residue on his hands, Tropeano left hurriedly, telling police that he had a meeting he had to go to.
Courts documents said a gun was “clearly visible” in the waistband of Tropeano’s pants in a video from a surveillance camera Tropeano installed on the outside of his home.
The Waterbury teen who was shot later told police investigators that Tropeano fired three shots at the group as they fled the scene down his driveway.
Riccio told The Press on Aug. 29 that Tropeano had been through a “terrifying situation.”
“What’s important to focus on is that my client was terrorized by a gang of thieves in the middle of the night,” Riccio said.