5 New Haven teens accused in assault, robbery at synagogue

Photo of Ben Lambert
The New Haven Police Department at 1 Union Ave.

The New Haven Police Department at 1 Union Ave.

Ben Lambert / Hearst Connecticut Media

NEW HAVEN — Five teenagers were arrested and charged after an alleged assault at a downtown synagogue, according to police.

Officers responded to investigate a reported robbery at approximately 7 p.m. Tuesday, Capt. Anthony Duff said in a release.

“The victim told arriving officers he was in the driveway when two young males yelled expletives at him, punched him multiple times knocking him to the ground, and stole his car,” Duff said in the release. “Officers and detectives canvassed the area, spoke with a witness, and reviewed security video footage which confirmed the incident.”

Officer Robert Ferraro saw the vehicle later in the evening, Duff said. Officers attempted to stop the car on Long Wharf Drive, then chased it on Interstate 95 north into East Haven.

The pursuit ended when the car was involved in a crash near Frontage Road in East Haven, Duff said. No one was hurt in the collision, he said.

Five teenage males, all New Haven residents, were found in the car and arrested, Duff said. One allegedly was carrying a handgun and ammunition, he said.

All five youths have been charged with first-degree robbery, weapon in a motor vehicle, first-degree larceny, and conspiracy charges, Duff said. Four of the five were charged with criminal possession of a firearm and associated conspiracy charges, as well.

Two, both 16, “were identified as the primary assailants in the robbery” and charged with hate crimes, third-degree assault, and conspiracy charges, Duff said.

Assistant Chief Karl Jacobson thanked the East Haven Police Department for aiding in the pursuit.

“The East Haven officers risked their own safety and we appreciate the great assistance they provided,” Jacobson said in the release.

According to the release, three of the teens, 17, 16 and 15, have been charged with alleged car thefts on multiple occasions in recent months. Duff said this is the third such arrest in nine months for the 17-year-old; the fourth in five months for the 16-year-old; and the third in six months for the 15-year-old.

The teenagers were brought to a holding facility for Juvenile Court in New Haven, Duff said.