Wilton announces settlement with Guizan estate

The Board of Selectmen went into executive session at its meeting on March 4 to discuss the settlement of a lawsuit with the estate of Gonzalo Guizan, who died during a Southwest Regional Emergency Response Team operation in 2008.

Police from Darien, Easton, Trumbull, Monroe, and Wilton responded to a tip from an exotic dancer and executed a search warrant on May 18. They arrived at the Dogwood Drive home of Ronald Terebesi in Easton and surrounded the house before entering. The tip indicated drug activity was taking place at Mr. Terebesi’s home.

As police entered, they encountered Mr. Terebesi and Mr. Guizan. According to a state police report, one of two police officers fired his weapon, striking Mr. Guizan and killing him.

The towns of Easton, Trumbull and Monroe reached a settlement with Mr. Guizan’s estate last month, while Darien has yet to announce a decision.

In the executive session on Monday night, the Board of Selectmen met with the town counsel to consider its options. While the total of the settlement was said to be $3.5 million, no one would comment on what Wilton’s contribution would be.

The town did release a statement on Tuesday that said:

“The town of Wilton wishes to announce that a settlement was reached in the lawsuit brought by the estate of Gonzalo Guizan who was shot during a SWERT operation conducted in the town of Easton on May 18, 2008, pursuant to a valid search warrant.

“While the defendants, police departments and officers from Darien, Easton, Trumbull, Monroe, and Wilton maintain they were not responsible for the unfortunate death of Mr. Guizan, the insurers for the defendants believed that it was best to resolve the matter rather than incur further attorney fees, which were anticipated to be significant.

“The defendants and their insurers will continue to litigate the case brought by Ronald Terebesi, whose home was the object of the search warrant.”

Asked to comment on the case after the executive session, First Selectman Bill Brennan said, “I’m not making any other statement than we settled the case.”

Town Counsel Ken Bernhard could not be reached for comment.