Report: Dalton Police sergeant fired over high-speed chases

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A police sergeant in Dalton has been fired, accused of being in three high-speed pursuits. One resulted in a deadly crash. All three high-speed chases happened in a span of two months.

Sergeant Bustin Buzzella is also accused of violating multiple department polices – including falsifying documents.

These details were first reported and confirmed by NewsChannel 13’s media partners at the Berkshire Eagle.

The police chief confirmed that the sergeant was fired on Sept. 28 after an investigation found that he went on three high-speed chases in the span of two months. The final straw was a police pursuit that ended with the death of a Pittsfield man in May.

Buzzella was put on administrative leave. Dalton Police Chief, Deanna Strout wrote in disciplinary action reports that Buzzella violated several department policies including falsifying documents. Police say Sergeant Buzzella pursued Ryan Griffin from Main Street in Dalton onto Robinson Road in Hinsdale after Griffin rolled through a stop sign. Police report that during the pursuit, Griffin died after crashing into a tree.

The disciplinary report stated that Griffin posed no significant risk of harm to the community, but Buzzella created unavoidable risk of harm to the public. The first two high-speed chases happened on March 21 and May 14. Buzzella hit speeds in the 90s after the first incident in March. Strout gave Buzzella a reprimand. He was also told never to speed like that again or he would face further consequences.

NewsChannel 13 reached out to Buzzella’s attorney. He said there would be no comment at this time. He did not mention that a disability claim has been filed in the town of Dalton.