Fairfield cops burst Bubble Lounge tip on Westport homicide suspect
Updated 8:26 am, Saturday, December 17, 2011
It proved to be a case of the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And perhaps the tip to police was the result of a touch of bubbly.
But Fairfield police, acting on the premise that any information in a homicide investigation is worth checking out, dispatched an officer to the Bubble Lounge late Thursday to investigate a tip that a patron at the downtown bar resembled the suspect in the Dec. 8 killing of a Westport jeweler.
The tip to Fairfield police came hours after Westport police released new surveillance camera images of the suspect, as well as more detailed information about his whereabouts leading up to the fatal shooting of Yekutiel Zeevi, the 65-year-old owner of Y.Z. Jewelry Manufacturing, in his office suite at the Compo Shopping Center on Dec. 8.
Despite the new details learned by investigators, however, police do not know the suspect's identity or whereabouts, Westport Chief Dale Call told a Thursday afternoon press conference.
The tip to Fairfield police was received about 11:15 p.m. when a caller from the Bubble Lounge on Sanford Street said a man drinking at the bar appeared to resemble the Westport homicide suspect.
The caller told Fairfield police the man "looks exactly like the man from the sketch and video from the Westport shooting/burglary," according to police records. The man was described as having a scruffy beard and was wearing a camouflage jacket, police said.
The officer sent to the bar questioned the man, who produced identification that showed he had no arrest record. After verifying the man's address, police said they quickly determined the man was not the suspect wanted in connection with the Westport incident.
Even though the tip did not pan out, police in both Westport and Fairfield, still want to be contacted by people with information they think might be helpful in the investigation.
"We don't want to discourage people from calling if they see someone that resembles the individual we're looking for, said Westport Capt. Sam Arciola.
"It's simply a matter of us going and talking to the individual," he said of anyone who may be a suspect. "Don't approach -- we'll come up and talk to him."
Fairfield Lt. Jim Perez agreed: "Sometimes the public is correct, sometimes they're off, but we appreciate the call.
"Either way, we appreciate the call ... The reason we give out sketches and video images is because we want the cooperation of the public."
Westport police ask that anyone with information about the homicide/robbery at Y.Z. Jewelry contact them at 203-341-6000.