Matthew Gromiller, 41, of Easton was found asleep behind the wheel of a van in the middle of a Fairfield intersection early Christmas morning, and after checking his background, police said they also learned he was wanted on numerous warrants for failing to appear in court for other cases.
Police were called about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday with a report there was a man sleeping behind the wheel of van, its engine running, in the middle of the intersection at Home and Colony streets.
The officer sent to investigate had to bang on the van's wndow to awaken Gromiller, according to the report. The driver's seat was in the recline position, all the doors were locked and transmission was in drive, police said.
There was also a strong odor of burnt marijuana, police said, and Gromiller told the officer he was on his way back to Easton. He did not have a driver's license and informed the officer he had a small bag of marijuana and crack cocaine in his pocket, according to the report. He also said there was more crack cocaine and a pipe in the van's center console, police said.
Gromiller was charged with possession of narcotics, possession within 1,500 feet of a school, possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana/second offense, possession of drug paraphernalia and illegal manufacture, distribution or sale of prescription drugs.
There were also active warrants for Gromiller's arrest from Fairfield, Easton, Stratford, Bridgeport and five other area communities for either failure to appear or failure to pay or plead.
According to court records, Gromiller was arrested last June 18 by Stratford police for operating under suspection, possession of narcotics, drug paraphernalia and possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana. Easton police charged him with evading responsibiltiy, following too closely and operating under suspension on Sept. 22.
On May 6, Bridgeport police charged Gromiller with failure to have headlamps and operating under suspension while on Oct. 23, Fairfield police charged him with operating under suspension, failure to have insurance, failure to drive in the proper lane, traveling too fast for conditions, operating an unregistered motor vehicle and second-degree failure to appear.
Court records also indicate Gromiller was sentenced to a year in jail in 2006 following arrest by Stratford police for possession of narcotics.
Gromiller, who lives on Bayberry Lane, Easton was held on bonds totaling $116,950. He is scheduled to appear Jan. 4 in Bridgeport Superior Court.