Cops: Auto theft suspect rams pursuing police cruiser
Updated 7:07 am, Wednesday, December 28, 2011
A Bridgeport man, chased by police early Christmas morning on suspicion of auto theft, faces charges in both Fairfield and Bridgeport.
Police in Bridgeport began chasing a silver Chevy Tracker, which had been reported stolen earlier in the city, when they said officers spotted Jose Correa, 22, driving the vehicle. They broke off the pursuit on Stratfield Road in Fairfield, but the SUV was spotted a short time later by a Fairfield officer, where it had stopped at a red traffic light at Fairfield Woods Road and Melville Avenue.
The Fairfield officer noticed Correa was on his cell phone, and then began nervously turning and looking at the officer, according to Sgt. Suzanne Lussier, a Fairfield police spokeswoman. The officer activated his cruiser's lights and sirens and Correa fled west on Fairfield Woods Road.
At one point, Correa crossed over the double-yellow traffic line and was driving the SUV on the wrong side of the road, according to the report. The chase continued to Black Rock Turnpike, where Correa hit a median divider and drove through a red traffic light, over another median and into the parking lot of the Duchess Restaurant before heading back into the street.
He continued down to Tunxis Hill Road, then to Moody Avenue and onto Villa Avenue, where he drove into the parking lot of the former Villa Avenue Car Wash. In the parking lot, police said, Correa deliberately drove at the pursuing patrol car, striking it. Two other officers were dispatched as back up, and the third patrol car hit the second patrol, police said.
Lussier said the damage to both patrol cars was minor.
Correa was charged by Fairfield police with third-degree larceny, interfering with an officer, engaging in pursuit, reckless driving and operating without a license.
Bridgeport police charged Correa with reckless driving, failure to obey an officer's signal and traveling unreasonably fast.
He was held on a $25,000 cash bond and is scheduled to appear Jan. 12 in Bridgeport Superior Court.