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Police Reports | August 20-September 22, 2020



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UPDATE: On October 6 at 5:30 pm, an arrest report on a September 8 incident at Church Hill and Walnut Tree Hill Roads was edited to correct the name of the individual charged.

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Church Hill Road Collision

A 2015 Volvo S60 Premier Plus, being operated by John Dinoto, 66, of Newtown, was traveling east on Church Hill Road at 6:27 pm, Thursday, August 20.

At the same time, a 2013 Ford F150 pickup truck, operated by Connor R. Hughes, 19, also of Newtown, was traveling east on Church Hill Road, behind the Volvo.

The Volvo stopped for traffic, but the truck continued straight, with the front end of the Ford vehicle striking the rear end of the Volvo

No injuries were reported to either driver, nor their passengers.

Hughes was given a verbal warning for failure to keep a reasonable distance.

South Main At Ethan Allen Crash

A 2019 Isuzu truck operated by Zhang X. Fei, 38, of Milford, was traveling north on South Main Street at 10:24 am, Wednesday, August 26. That truck was traveling directly behind a 2014 Ford F350 Super Duty truck operated by Christopher J. Wallace, 34, of Brookfield.

Wallace stopped his vehicle in the area of Ethan Allen Road to allow a tractor-trailer to turn left from the southbound lane onto Ethan Allen Road. When the Ford stopped, the Isuzu did not stop. The Isuzu hit the rear end of the trailer being towed by the Ford, causing the trailer and the truck to jackknife and turn eastbound.

The Isuzu then continued forward, hitting the passenger side of the Ford, and then overturning onto its passenger side.

All parties involved — both drivers and a passenger in the Ford — were evaluated by Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Service. No one was transported to the hospital. Botsford Fire Rescue also responded to the crash.

Fei was issued an infraction for failure to keep a reasonable distance.

Liquor Store Larceny

Newtown Police Department is investigating a larceny that occurred on Wednesday, August 26, at Oak Barrel Wine & Spirits, 75 Church Hill Road.

Three individuals entered the store, stole six bottles of liquor, and left the premises in a dark color passenger vehicle with no plates visible. The vehicle was last seen on the eastbound Exit 10 entrance ramp to I-84.

Anyone with information about the larceny is asked to contact Officer Felicia Figol at 203-426-5841.

Rear End Collision

At about 7 pm on August 28, Newtown police were called to investigate a reported rear-end collision at South Main Street and Prospect Drive.

Upon arrival police determined that Joshua Ellis Smith, 28, was traveling with a passenger southbound in a 2017 Kia Sportage SUV when the operator was distracted and failed to see a 2015 Ford Fusion operated by Deborah J. Lavranchuk, 57, of Naugatuck, attempting to turn into Prospect Drive.

Police say the Kia struck the rear of the Ford, disabling the Kia, which had to be towed.

Newtown Ambulance volunteers responded to evaluate a minor injury to Lavranchuk, who did not require transport to hospital.

Smith was issued a verbal warning for following too close.

Church Hill-Boulevard Crash

A 2015 Ford Escape SE operated by Teresa A. Carvill, 49, of Maybrook, N.Y., was traveling in the left turn lane, westbound, on Church Hill Road near The Boulevard at 5:55 pm Friday, September 4.

A Subaru Legacy (no model year given) operated by Carol A. Brown, 78, of Bethlehem, was traveling in the right lane of westbound Church Hill Road at the same time.

The Ford moved from the left turn lane into the right lane, striking the driver’s side of the Subaru.

No injuries were reported to either driver or to a passenger in the Ford.

Carvill was issued a verbal warning for violation of a restricted turn.

Restricted Turn

On September 4 at about 6:59 pm, Newtown police responded to a reported crash at South Main Street and Mile Hill Road.

Tyler Goodyear, 23, of Newtown, was operating a 2016 Chevrolet Colorado southbound, while Benjamin Albert Miles, 28, was operating a 2001 Chevrolet Corvette northbound. Both vehicles were reportedly stopped in traffic at the time, when police say Goodyear proceeded to turn left into a driveway at 49 South Main as Miles was proceeding north, striking the rear driver side of the Corvette.

No injuries were reported and both vehicles were able to be driven from the scene.

Goodyear was issued a verbal warning for making a restricted turn.

Three-Vehicle Crash

On September 5 at about 2:58 pm, Newtown police along with local ambulance and fire volunteers responded to a reported three-vehicle crash at South Main Street and Mile Hill Road.

Upon arrival, officers determined that a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado operated by 58-year-old Neal O’Neil of Sandy Hook was traveling south on South Main at Mile Hill Road. A second vehicle, a 2005 Audi S4 operated by Lamoy Gregory, 31, of Bridgeport, was northbound on South Main Street.

The investigating officer indicated both operators had a green signal. At that time, a 2014 Dodge Ram truck operated by Roseanne M. Hermenze, 55, of Redding was traveling west in the right turn only lane of Mile Hill Road. O’Neil reportedly attempted to turn left onto Mile Hill Road and entered into the northbound travel lane of South Main Street when it was unsafe to do so.

The front end of his vehicle first struck the left side of the Audi, which caused the Audi to travel northbound and into the westbound travel lane of Mile Hill Road. The front end of the Audi then struck the left rear corner of the Ram truck. The rear tires of the Ram truck came to rest on the curbing off of the road and shoulder westbound.

After further investigation O’Neil was reportedly arrested and taken into custody for operating under the influence. O’Neil was also cited for making a restricted turn.

Lamoy was transported to Danbury Hospital for unknown non life threatening injuries, police said, and all three vehicles had to be towed from the scene. O’Neil was released on a $100 bond with a court date of September 22 in Danbury.

Under The Influence

Newtown police responding to a reported collision at Church Hill and Walnut Tree Hill roads on September 8 arrested Gary William Croteau, 63, of Seymour, and charged him with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence or alcohol or drugs, as well as failure to grant the right of way at an intersection.

Police said Croteau was operating an unidentified vehicle and attempting to turn onto Church Hill Road from Walnut Tree Hill Road when he struck another vehicle with enough force to disable both of the vehicles involved.

After posting a $500 bond, Croteau was released with a court appearance date on September 22. No other information was available on the incident.

Found Property

On Monday, September 14, at approximately 9:20 am, a Newtown police officer parked at 19 Main Street was approached by a member of the public with found property.

The officer was given a black eyeglass case containing a pair of prescription eyeglasses that had been found about 20 minutes earlier, on the curb in the area of 23 Church Hill Road.

To claim the property, contact the police department at 203-426-5841.

Failure To Appear Arrest

On Monday, September 14, at approximately 9:41 am, Kurt Zimmerman, 39, of Stratford, surrendered at Newtown Police Department to be processed on an active warrant for Failure To Appear-2nd Degree.

Zimmerman was processed on that charge, and then released from custody on a $500 cash bond. He was given a court date of September 25 at Danbury Superior Court.

Two Charges

On Monday, September 14, at approximately 12:37 pm, officers from Newtown Police Department were dispatched to Fairfield Hills following a report of a male touching himself.

Witnesses were able to provide to police a description of the vehicle the male in question had left in. Responding officers observed and stopped the suspect’s vehicle traveling south on South Main Street at Elm Drive.

Following investigation, Evan J. Rooney, 18, of Newtown, was taken into custody on the charges of Public Indecency and Disorderly Conduct. Rooney was transported to Newtown Police Department to be processed on those charges.

Rooney was then released from custody on a promise to appear in court on September 25.

Two Charges Follow South Main Street Crash

Newtown Police received a call about an unoccupied vehicle that had been in a crash in the area of South Main Street/Route 25 near Bears Hill Road around 11:05 pm, Thursday, September 10.

After responding to the area, police found the operator, Tiffany N. Ricks, 32, of Hartford, walking north, away from the accident scene.

Ricks told police she had struck a rock face while operating the vehicle, causing the vehicle to spin into the southbound lane of South Main Street before striking an embankment and stopping.

Ricks did not report any injuries.

She was charged with failure to have insurance and misuse of plates. She was given a court date of September 22.

Failure To Maintain Lane

Michael A. Chappa was traveling west on Taunton Hill Road, around Sawmill Road, at 2:02 pm Monday, September 21, when the front tire of the 2020 Ram 1500 Laramie he was operating blew out.

The tire malfunction caused the truck’s right front bumper to strike and damage a nearby utility pole. Loosened power lines then caused a power outage in the area.

No injuries were reported.

Chappa was issued a verbal warning for failure to maintain a lane.

Following Too Closely

Police responded at 5:40 am, Tuesday, September 22, to a minor two-vehicle accident at the intersection of South Main Street and Mile Hill Road.

John J. Puglisi, 30, of Monroe, was traveling north on South Main Street, operating a 2009 Honda CR-V EX.

Jose Vazquez, 40, of Bridgeport, had stopped the vehicle he was operating, a 2008 Chevrolet Express G2500, for a red light. The Honda struck the rear of the Chevrolet when the traffic control signal turned green.

The Honda suffered “disabling front end damage,” according to the police report, and was towed from the scene. The Chevy showed minor damage; Vazquez was able to drive it from the scene.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. No injuries were reported.

Puglisi was issued a verbal warning for following too closely.

A Newtown police officer directs traffic through the intersection of Key Rock Road, Hattertown Road and Poverty Hollow Road around 3:45 pm Tuesday, September 24, following a two-vehicle crash in that area. The white van on the right in the photo above, and the Mazda MX-5 in the photo below were involved in the collision. The drivers of both vehicles declined medical attention but a passenger in the Mazda was checked for neck and back pain. Dodgingtown Fire and Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps also responded to the scene. Additional details were not available before last week's print edition went to press. —Bee Photos, Hicks
—Bee Photo, Hicks
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