Feds: Man rammed police vehicle, injured AFT agent

A Connecticut man has been sentenced to 366 days in jail for ramming a law enforcement vehicle and injuring an ATF special agent in 2014.

Bernard Pettway, 39, of Bridgeport, pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting a federal agent with a dangerous weapon last October.

He was sentenced to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, by a federal judge in Hartford on April 8.

Operation Samson and violent criminals

This matter stems from Operation Samson, a multi-layered initiative headed by the ATF (U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) and the Bridgeport and New Haven police departments that targeted violent criminals, illegal firearm possession and firearm trafficking.

In the spring of 2014, approximately 40 ATF special agents and personnel from Connecticut and across the country were deployed with New Haven and Bridgeport police to conduct numerous covert operations.

Crack cocaine sale

According to court documents and statements made in court, from April to June 2014, investigators made three controlled purchases of crack cocaine from Pettway.

On June 16, an individual working with law enforcement called Pettway and placed an order for crack cocaine, federal prosecutors said. Pettway arranged to meet the drug purchaser at a location on Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport, prosecutors said.

Attempted to flee in vehicle

After Pettway allegedly arrived at the meeting location, Bridgeport police officers exited a marked car and approached his vehicle. Pettway reportedly then attempted to evade law enforcement and drove away at a high rate of speed.

A Bridgeport police officer and an ATF special agent, who were in an unmarked vehicle nearby, attempted to block Pettway’s escape by positioning their car to partially block the roadway, according to prosecutors.

Pettway then rammed into the back end of the unmarked vehicle, spinning it approximately 90 degrees and rendering it inoperable, and fled the scene, prosecutors said. He was apprehended later that day.

Back and neck injuries

The ATF special agent suffered back and neck injuries and was taken to the hospital.

After his arrest, Pettway assisted law enforcement in the recovery of an illegal firearm, prosecutors said.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Kale from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Connecticut.