A State Police car pursuit that started with the report of a hit-and-run accident on Interstate 95 in Westport ended on Constitution Boulevard South in Shelton on Tuesday morning.
A man was taken into custody who was driving a stolen Mercedes Benz van with New Jersey license plates, but has yet to be positively identified by police as of 11:30 a.m. Wednesday.
After exiting Route 8’s Exit 13 at Constitution Boulevard South, the stolen van side-swiped one car and eventually collided with a pickup truck at the intersection with Ivy Brook Road.
The driver then got out of the stolen vehicle and attempted to flee on foot but was apprehended by police after a short foot chase.
Awaiting positive ID on suspect
The suspect was tentatively identified but State Police are awaiting positive ID before releasing his name, age and hometown.
The man was charged with first-degree larceny, three counts of evading an accident, engaging police in pursuit, interfering with police, and refusal to be fingerprinted, according to a State Police press release.
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UPDATE: Suspect’s name released
The suspect in custody is Keith Ellis, 24, of 160 Pine St., Waterbury. Bond was set at $100,000.
The charges have since been updated to one count each of: first-degree larceny (motor vehicle theft), interfering with an officer (simple assault), disobeying the signal of an officer (in an attempt to elude escape), first-degree reckless endangerment (intimidation intended), reckless driving (greater than 85 mph), failure to submit to fingerprinting, evading responsibility, failure to maintain the proper lane, and operating without a license.
Began with I-95 hit-and-run
On Tuesday, Nov. 11 at about 8:45 a.m., State Police received 9-1-1 calls about a motor vehicle accident on I-95 northbound near Exit 17 in Westport. It was reported that a large white van had evaded the scene of the accident and continued heading north on I-95.
A state trooper soon observed the suspect vehicle and attempted to stop it by activating the patrol car’s overhead lights and siren, but the van driver failed to stop and increased his speed.
The vehicle continued onto the Route 8/25 connector in Bridgeport and eventually turned onto Route 8 north.
‘Stop sticks’ set up on Route 8
Troopers assisting with the pursuit set up “stop sticks’ on Route 8 northbound near Exit 12 (Old Stratford Road) in an attempt to stop the vehicle.
The van hit the stop sticks, which caused a flat tire on the driver’s side front tire, but the van driver continued north and got off at Exit 13 (Constitution Boulevard South).
The van took a right off the exit, side-swiped a car and continued going. It traveled about another mile before it collided into a pickup truck stopped at the intersection with Ivy Brook Road, and the foot pursuit followed.
Shelton police responded to the scene where the suspect was apprehended, at Constitution Boulevard and Ivy Brook Road, to offer assistance.
Briefly taken to hospital
The suspect sustained minor facial injuries from the accident and was taken to Bridgeport Hospital for a brief evaluation. He later was transported to State Police Troop G barracks in Bridgeport for processing and held on the charges
State Police determined the van, registered in New Jersey, had been stolen. It is a 2013 Mercedes Benz Sprinter van with the New Jersey marker plate, XAPE36.
— as edited by Brad Durrell for the Shelton Herald