MANCHESTER, NH – Manchester Police responded to Elm and West Merrimack streets on May 14, 2017 at approximately 1:20 a.m, for an alleged hit-and-run investigation involving a female pedestrian. Officers arrived on scene and spoke with the victim and her friend who stated a black Ford Mustang made contact with the 22-year-old victim as he turned on to West Merrimack Street from Elm Street.
The victim stated that she and her friend were crossing West Merrimack Street when they observed the mustang drive toward them. Both stated the vehicle made impact with the victim’s right side, which caused her to fall to the ground. The fall caused minor injuries to her leg, as well as minor abrasions. The male driver reportedly stopped to check on the victim before fleeing the area. Her friend recorded the registration and a subsequent follow-up investigation revealed the car was registered to an off-duty Manchester police officer who was later identified as Steven Cornacchia, 31, of Manchester. He has been a sworn officer with the Manchester Police Department since April 2013.
The subsequent investigation determined Officer Cornacchia was the driver of the vehicle when he allegedly struck the 22-year old victim causing injuries. He was charged with conduct after an accident based on the fact he left the scene of a crash without notifying authorities.
Officer Cornacchia was immediately placed on administrative leave, with pay, by Chief Nick Willard who ordered an immediate criminal and internal investigation into the incident. Following the arrest, he was suspended without pay, according to Lt. Brian O’Keefe.*[see editor’s note below]
Officer Cornacchia will remain on leave pending the outcome of both the criminal and internal investigations.
An arrest warrant was issued on May 15, 2017. Manchester Police made contact with Officer Cornacchia who turned himself in at 8:15 a.m. on May 16, 2017. He was released on $1,000 personal recognizance bail and is scheduled to appear in the 9th Circuit Court-Manchester on June 20, 2017.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The story has been updated to reflect a correction made by Manchester Police, clarifying that once Officer Cornacchia was arrested, his suspension was without pay. – CR