Police: Argument over $10 pool fee led to fatal Vernon motel shooting

Jun. 28VERNON The fatal shooting of the owner at a local motel was triggered by an argument about a $10 pool pass. Police say.Alvin Waugh (31), a Vernon resident who is also the owner of Motel 6 at 51 Hartford Turnpike in Vernon, was charged with murder in the killing of Zeshan Chaudhry. His Hartford address lists him as a Hartford resident, but his girlfriend stated that they had been staying at this motel for around a month.Waugh's bond was reduced by Judge Hope C. Seeley to $2 million Monday, from $5 million that he was held overnight. Matthew C. Gedansky, Tolland State's Attorney, had requested that the judge leave the bond at $5million. Kathryn Mallach, a bail commissioner, and public defender, demanded a bond of $1 million.Waugh does not have a criminal conviction, but Gedansky stated that he had been in two cases that were "nolled" or dropped.Waugh's case was called "very strong" by the prosecutor. According to a police report, at least two witnesses were present during the shooting. The incident was captured on surveillance video and Waugh signed an unsigned confession.Waugh cooperated with the prosecution during Sunday's investigation, but the prosecutor stated that the gun used for the shooting was only recovered "by great effort by law enforcement."Waugh called police to tell them that he dropped the gun in "a body" of water, according to the police report. The report also states that Waugh later had the gun recovered from the water body he described. The body of water is not identified in the report.Sgt. Robert Marra, of Vernon Police Department later confirmed that this was the Hockanum River.The report was written by Sgt. Michael D. Patrizz quotes Waugh's girlfriend saying that they had been staying in the motel for approximately a month. She recounted the following:She stated that the couple had been chatting in the pool area when they decided to swim. She claimed that she went in to speak to Chaudhry to get access to the pool.Continue the storyShe claimed Chaudhry had told her that she needed to pay $10 to get a "pool card", and she also offered him $5 which he declined to accept.She walked off, and Chaudhry followed her in the hallway, where they continued their argument about the pool pass.Then, she went outside to see Waugh and Chaudhry. They argued more, with Waugh and Chaudhry arguing because Chaudhry believed that an employee had given Chaudhry the $5 she offered. She said that Chaudhry wanted to know the identity of the employee so he could fire him.She believed Waugh ran into their bedroom and bought a gun. He returned, she said, and the argument continued. She claimed Chaudhry was "antagonizing" them to fight when she heard "pop" sounds. Waugh then ran away.According to the report, the girlfriend said that Waugh had "made the handgun around a month ago." According to her, Waugh made comments about using the gun and going to war. She also said that he was angry.The footage showed Waugh going to his room with his right hand in the pocket. A police officer then viewed the security camera footage and continued the argument for approximately one minute. According to the report, Waugh took his gun out of his pocket and fired several shots into Chaudhry. He then ran out of range for the camera.According to the report, several adults and children were seen in the pool area during the filming.According to the report, Waugh's girlfriend attempted to call him multiple times from the scene but he did not answer. After several minutes, Waugh called a police officer to say that he had fled into the woods approximately a mile away, and was now returning home. He stated that he wanted to surrender but didn't have his gun as he had accidentally dropped it in the water.Waugh continued to talk on the speakerphone while his girlfriend updated him on his location. Waugh reported that he was in the vicinity of Subway sandwich shop. He was taken into custody by two police officers without any incident.Although Waugh is reported to have confessed in writing, the report doesn't provide details.Waugh faces felony charges including risk of injury to children, commission of a Class B, C, or D felony with firearm, evidence tampering and criminal use of weapon. Waugh is also facing misdemeanor charges of first-degree recklessly endangerment.Mallach claimed that Waugh is close to family and has a strong work history, even though he has had some difficulties in recent months. According to an arrest report, Waugh was a "delivery driver" working for a ride-sharing company.Follow Alex Wood on Twitter at @AlexWoodJI1, and on Instagram at @AlexWoodJI1 for the latest news on Glastonbury and other crime and court coverage in North-Central Connecticut.