Cops: Panhandling suspect nabbed after three police pursuits
A man police said was “aggressively” panhandling in the Staples Plaza parking lot Saturday morning led police in Fairfield on two separate pursuits, and later was arrested after a third police chase in Bridgeport. The pursuit by Bridgeport police ended when the suspect crashed into a stonewall.
Daniel Baker, 33, of Ellsworth Street in Bridgeport, was driving a Hyundai taken from a friend in November, without the friend’s permission, according to the report.
After receiving the panhandling complaint, police spotted Baker’s car on Interstate 95 near the service area, and initiated a brief pursuit.
Later that day, police received a call about a man in the parking lot at Kohl’s department store on Tunxis Hill. The man, believed to be Baker, was asking people to get in his car and accompany him to get gas.
An officer checking the area later found Baker stopped at a traffic light on Stillson Road. The officer activated his cruiser lights and sirens, prompting Baker to make a left onto Black Rock Turnpike and accelerate, weaving in and out of traffic southbound on Black Rock Turnpike. When the pursuit reached the Tunxis Hill intersection, Baker was clocked at 70 mph and police broke off their pursuit, according to the report.
Bridgeport police were notified and Baker’s Ellsworth Street address checked. He then was spotted on Ellsworth Street and again led police in a short pursuit before crashing the car into a stonewall on a side street, police said. He tried to flee on foot, but was stopped by a police dog when he tried to climb over a fence.
Fairfield police charged Baker with engaging police in pursuit, reckless driving and operating under suspension. He was released to Bridgeport police custody and and is scheduled to appear Dec. 29 at state Superior Court in Bridgeport.