St. Paul coach one of 12 busted for drinking at city park

St. Paul High School head football coach John L. Livengood was one of 12 people cited by Norwalk police Wednesday evening for alcohol-related offenses at Baines Park. The following people, whose addresses were not available, were issued misdemeanor citations for possessing or consuming an open container of beer or intoxicating liquor on city property: John L. Livengood, 41; Lawrence A. Fisher, 35; Emily J. Mira, 34; Jason T. Green, 26; Susan M. Caprara, 43; Anthony P. Caprara, 44; Bradley T. Clark, 25; Christopher N. Harkness, 40; Juliana M. Mapus, 24; Robert C. Wilkerson, 38; Kevin M. Hay, 29; and Steven C. Popke, 30.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010


St. Paul High School head football coach John L. Livengood was one of 12 people cited by Norwalk police Wednesday evening for alcohol-related offenses at Baines Park.

The following people, whose addresses were not available, were issued misdemeanor citations for possessing or consuming an open container of beer or intoxicating liquor on city property: John L. Livengood, 41; Lawrence A. Fisher, 35; Emily J. Mira, 34; Jason T. Green, 26; Susan M. Caprara, 43; Anthony P. Caprara, 44; Bradley T. Clark, 25; Christopher N. Harkness, 40; Juliana M. Mapus, 24; Robert C. Wilkerson, 38; Kevin M. Hay, 29; and Steven C. Popke, 30.

"One of the things that have occurred through all the discussion of drinking in public parks is that drinking goes on after ball games at Baines Park," Norwalk Police Chief Kevin Cashen said today, adding officers normally patrol there and have issued verbal warnings.

Drinking in public places has been a hot topic in city this summer, ever since Berry's Restaurant sought permission to serve alcohol in Bresson Park. Granting that request would have required the city change the city's ordinance to allow alcohol on public property under certain conditions. After much public outcry, the issue was defeated.

Cashen said city Park and Recreation Department staff have picked up empty cans on the hillside at Baines. "After talking with park and recreation, we decided to take a look and see what is going on," the chief added.

The citations issued Wednesday involve minor misdemeanor offenses carrying fines only, no jail time.

Livengood, who was at football practice today, could not be reached for comment, nor could Walt Klimaski, Norwalk Catholic School president.

One of the suspects cited Wednesday was Harkness, a Huron County probation officer from 1997 to 2004.

About 2004, investigators found no evidence that Harkness was involved in the misappropriation of $15,000 from the probation department, Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said. The prosecutor noted that Harkness may have been lax in supervising his secretary, who was later convicted of the crime.

Melinda "Mindy" S. Knoll, 43, of North Fairfield, was sentenced Oct. 9, 2005 to three years of probation for attempted tampering with evidence in the 2004 case.

"Everybody liked him," Leffler said about Harkness. "He was a football player. He tried out for the Bengals. He had a lot going for him."


ERIC (Anonymous)


way to go coach...

such a great role model john livengood is. i bet the football players are truly looking up to him now. not that they are not all down at charlie's drinking anyway. grow up and recognize the rules-----isn't that what he stands for anyways?

Me (Anonymous)

What a joke! The article doesn't mention that all the officers involved were plain clothed and used an undercover car. Good to see the city taking care of the HUGE problem at Baines Park...never mind the drugs all around the city. Seriously, the police have nothing better to do with their time? And all of this because poor Doug Berry can't serve alcohol outside at his failing business. Being prohibited from serving alcohol in Bresson Park is not the reason your business is struggling...the food isn't good and the service is horrible. But I guess the point was made last night. The city just helped kill a very good softball program last night. And the city loses revenue. And the Park & Rec will be asking for more of your tax money next year because of it.

RE:Way to go co...

you must be from Monroeville -- because if you even knew John you wouldn't make a comment like that. He is a great guy and the kids do and still will look up to him. HE IS A GREAT ROLE MODEL! Everybody and their brother has had a drink down at baines park ..... so he got caught BIG DEAL! Christ if it weren't for his name the story would have never been in the paper. My family and I will stand behind John 100% and continue to let him be the great role model he is for our children!

Terry Roth (Ano...

Coach Livingood and Chris Harkness are number one in my book. My family has relocated to South Carolina. If you don't want such outstanding citizens in Norwalk, we will take them in a minute!

jill (Anonymous)

So what if they were plain clothed policemen? The point is they were drinking in a city park - which is against the law...which is a no-no. If people were complaining about it then they have to check into it. And Coach Livengood...I'm seriously disappointed in you. You are supposed to be a roll model for your boys. What does this show them? You can do better than that. Straighten up.

is it really ba...

Come on. A few beers. With all the major drugs you hear about in Norwalk I would think time would be better spent getting these off the sreets instead of going after someone for having a beer or two. major drugs and the crime that follows them are becoming a huge issue that MUST be attended to before all else.

American first ...

Oh, no!! Some people were actually enjoying themselves in a city park!! Let's shut them all down before anyone has any more fun.
I guarantee you there is more heroin in the parks than beer. Maybe it's time to rethink the no alcohol rule. When laws make decent citizens into lawbreakers there is something wrong with the laws.

RE: Jill (Anonymous)

Who was complaining about Baines, other than poor Doug Berry? Did you ever hear anything about drinking at Baines? I guess plain clothed doesn't make a big difference, I just think it's kinda of chick sh*t. You don't need to hide in your car or in the woods and take names.

Doesn't Joe Lindenberger play in that league? I noticed he was not there last night. Perhaps he knew the police were coming?

Steffani (Anonymous)

I'm surprised the SWAT team wasn't there........ my god! I really don't see the big deal in drinking at Baines park before or after the game. I seriously think the City of Norwalk needs to get it's drug issues taken care of before they setup undercover "BEER BUST". It's a shame that this story is even in the headlines and I agree that if it weren't for Johns name it probably wouldn't have been front page. Mr. Livengood is a great person for our kids and I will continue my support for him. GO FLYERS!

me 2 (Anonymous)

I wish someone could explain to me why Chris Harkness' past history has any bearing on this article. It is inappropriate and unprofessional to try to resurrect old allegations against him. If he has violated a city ordinance by consuming alcohol at the ball park, then he should be held responsible for that, and that ALONE.

Re: m2 (Anonymous)

typical Reflector...slow news day so they put the football coach in the headline (just to grab your attention) and then bring up old news on a former county worker. Get your facts straight. That secretary was under McGimpsey, not Harkness. The judge was responsible for maintaining that account, not Harkness. McGimpsey threw Harkness under the bus to save his own a$$. But don't let the truth get in the way of a good story. The Reflector owes Mr. Harkness an apology.

Over 21, not dr...

I know these fine people.....the police should be looking into underage drinking not to friends having a beer after a game. I think they are trying to prove a point, but are going about it in the wrong direction.


I have had a couple of beers down at Baines park after a game, even with the Park & Rec's Joe Lindenberger, and have never seen any harm in it. But because of the Berry's situation this law at Baines had to be enforced, I guess? Well why didn't someone let the ball players know this before 12 people had to take the hit for all of us. I think a WARNING would have been more appropriate. What a cheap shot by the undercover N.P.D.

pcl (Anonymous)

Is anyone really surprised by the actions of the police in this matter? The drinking has been going on at Baines park since it opened, I AM SURE SOME OF THE POLICEMAN WHO HAVE PLAYED HAVE DONE IT. What a shame that good people like John, Chris and the rest involved have to deal with this. That is the law is what the police will say, and yes it is, but come on.

Ridiculous (Ano...

Why in the world is this story on the front page ?? So the guy had a beer after a softball game, this does not exactly qualify him as a social deviant. He's a good guy and a great role model for his athletes and students ... Go FLYERS !!

HANK (Anonymous)

The police have to enforce the law if there was a complaint. And as far as Judge McGimpsey throwing Harkness under the bus, get real. If you knew McGimpsey, you'd know better.

An American Gir...

Well I was drinking at the park after my game Tues. I'M A CRIMINAL!!! Last game for me and I sat with some of my girls and sucked down a few cold ones. WHO CARES???? Who really cares???? Unmarked Cars? Come one!!! This is NOT a bank robbery, these are local citizens drinking a beer or two after the game. These are good people playing sports - not underage crack heads. And I think the Norwalk Reflector is as much to blame if not more for the "super cool" headline in the paper. I hope John Livengood marches down to your building and kicks your a**! Maybe he'll bring his old buddy Harkness with him. Boy wouldn't that be super, then you'll have an even better storey for Friday's paper...."Livengood and Harkness -Norwalk's Bad Boys...Whatcha Gonna Do When They Come for You?" LIGHTS OUT!!!!

Man of Honor (A...

Everyone makes mistakes! Take your lumps and move on. Everyone should have known with all the publicity that public drinking has had in recent months that it was illegal. KUDOS to the Norwalk Police!! You guys are the "FINEST!"

??? go NPD (Ano...

once again Norwalk's finest making a great example of themselves. First of all what Mr. Harkness did in his past should have nothing to do with what took place at Baines park. the way you splandered his name is way out of line,and i do agree an apology should be given A.S.A.P, and NPD what else better do you have to do than play inspector gadgets here in town. You are one of worst police forces i have yet to see. I have lived in Norwalk all my life and being a person of color i know how you guys work.... HORRIBLE.. worry about the drugs, the underage drinking, and things of interest. Walking around in plain clothes to bust decent citizens who drink a beer or two after a ballgame is all you have better to do? well come tax time don't think i will vote for anything concerning the park and rec to pay for anything. Why not ask those who found it so important to send you down there to help pay it.

Not surprised (...

Are you serious? You are all going to attack the Norwalk Police for doing their job? He's supposed to be a role model for these kids.

blame it on Mon...

The comment about "you must be from Monroeville" is quite a bold and quite honestly rude statement. Maybe you did not realize it but there are quite a few people in the city of Norwalk that do not think Livengood is God. Maybe it was one of them that posted it. Or maybe someone from another school in the conference. But no blame it on Monroeville because we are just not as good as you apparently think you are. I would love to say that "you must be from Monroeville" is such a Saint Paul comment, but I know not everyone at Saint Paul is that arrogant. I am sure some people from Monroeville will make comments like that, but as you can tell below so will people from Norwalk, New London, Collins, Wakeman, Greenwich and so on.
I am from Monroeville and my thoughts after reading this article were so what a coach drank beer in a park. The only thing that surprised me about it was that this happened in Norwalk and not in Monroeville where there really is nothing else for the cops to do (and that is not a bad thing either).

Cashenhater (An...

Kevin Cashen is a nazi. It is typical of his police department to react to the passions of the time and bust a few adults having a good time. Our country is so wrong, beer bad, Iraq good!

Nice grammer (A...

What is splandered? Also you don't need the comma before using the word "and." Maybe you should have had someone proof read your comments before posting them.

Carol (Anonymous)

Norwalk has a damn fine police force. How dare you degrade them and say they are the worst police force around. They have always been there when me or my family has needed them. They have always been very courteous and professional.

Thank You (Anon...

I play softball at Banes Park and my children attend St. Paul's. Thank you N.P.D. and the Norwalk Reflector for opening my eyes to where Norwalk's true criminals hang out. I will quit my softball team and pull my children for the Norwalk Catholic School system right away. Thank you for protecting my family. You know school is about to start up, boy was that a close call!!! If it wasn't for the Norwalk Reflector and N.P.D. I don't know what I'd do. Such good stories and information, Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank you for reminding me why I moved the hell out of Norwalk! Now I live in a town with 1 cop on duty and no newspaper. I have to say this is probably one of the poorest articles you could have published. John Livengood will probably laugh this off - makes the Reflector and NPD look like the idiots! John - the town of Norwalk supports you!

here we go agai...

Norwalk Reflector, Norwalk Police.. how dare you? what kinda of crap is this? do you not find more things of interest to print? you are wasting our time and tax dollars for this? the way these citizens was put out there like that is wrong. i guess when you give someone a gun and a badge that makes them untouchable? i can't wait to see them doing something wrong so i can call in the FEDS to come and get them. Did they send in SuperCop Seth? i can see him being involved and loving every stinkin minute of it..

change the law ...

If you don't like the law change it. Don't blame the cops who enforce it. They can't ignore it because they dont believe in it and many of them don't like that law. Very few tickets are written for that at Baines so I think they have their priorities straight.

Cops is so offe...

can we please call these finest of men police officers instead of cops!

Retired Cop (An...

Everyone must remember that the POLICE are the ones you call when you need help. Having been in law enforcement for 29 years, I never once saw someone call a tree trimmer when his house was broken into and I never saw someone call the garbage department to complain about people speeding down their street and I never saw a parent whose child had been assaulted on their way home from school call the city electrician to report what happenend. My point is POLICE OFFICERS where many hats and cannot please everyone. I am sure the people who called to complain about drinking at Baines Park are happy that twelve people were cited for public drinking. On the other side the twelve people who were caught, well are probably upset but realize they were wrong and the POLICE OFFICERS were doing their jobs. The men and women who pin a badge on their shirt everyday deserve respect for what they do. There are not too many people who would drive 100 MPH to man with a gun call, but a POLICE OFFICER does!! POLICE OFFICERS are here to protect your a$$, not kiss it!!!!