MASSACRE' REMARK DRAWS ACTION; [7 HARTFORD NORTH FINAL Edition]
Abstract (Summary)

The man charged with threatening students at two area schools warned a workers' compensation hearing officer of a "playground massacre," according to a hearing transcript.

"I'm a playground massacre waiting to happen," Robi Fortier, 29, of Huntington, Mass., told the hearing officer.

Toward the end of a workers' compensation hearing April 13, Fortier broke down in front of the commissioner, according to a transcript of the hearing.

Full Text (428  words)
(Copyright @ The Hartford Courant 1999)

The man charged with threatening students at two area schools warned a workers' compensation hearing officer of a "playground massacre," according to a hearing transcript.

"I'm a playground massacre waiting to happen," Robi Fortier, 29, of Huntington, Mass., told the hearing officer.

Toward the end of a workers' compensation hearing April 13, Fortier broke down in front of the commissioner, according to a transcript of the hearing.

"If you're asking me if -- why I can go six days without sleep and just feel like walking into Avon Old Farms and Ethel Walker and pulling the trigger as fast as I can and then laughing about it to the media, you know, just so I can get that physical help," Fortier said.

He later bent over in his chair with his hands on his head and began crying, according to the transcript.

The commissioner in charge of the hearing soon ended the session and informed police of Fortier's alleged threats. Fortier's case was against the Enfield Dek Hockey Park, his employer. The case has not been completed yet.

Fortier was at the hearing to ask for additional physical therapy due to an injured back caused by an auto accident.

Fortier was arrested on charges of threatening and breach of peace on April 19 and released on a $100,000 bond. Police stepped up security after he made his threat.

Fortier, concerned about his remarks, walked into the Simsbury police station and tried to convince authorities that he wasn't a threat.

He told police that his comments were taken out of context and that he never meant his words to be a threat, police said. He told police he used to make deliveries to Ethel Walker as part of his duties with Air Freight Services. He told police he worked for the company five years ago but had not been near the campus since then and does not drive in the Farmington Valley for work.

Simsbury Police Chief Alfred Shull said the officer said that Fortier "appeared normal" but did not make any judgment about the man's mental state since he was not qualified to do so.

Jesse Frankl, chairman of the workers' compensation commission, said that after the criminal and domestic courts, the workers' compensation courtroom is the site of the most threats.

"It's a very serious issue," Frankl said, since many people involved in the commission hearings are fighting for their jobs.

Frankl said the commission attempts to identify those who might be trouble and has silent alarms and security to take care of individuals who act out.

Indexing (document details)
Author(s): PAUL H. JOHNSON,  Courant Staff Writer
Dateline: SIMSBURY
Section: TOWN NEWS
Publication title: Hartford Courant. Hartford, Conn.: Apr 30, 1999.  pg. B.1
Source type: Newspaper
ISSN: 10474153
ProQuest document ID: 40990053
Text Word Count 428
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=40990053&Fmt=3&clientId=20785&RQT=309&VName=PQD