Government Police/Fire

Candy Thief Escapes on LimeBike, Scuffles with West Hartford Officer

Suspect in theft from Aldi. Courtesy of West Hartford Police

A shoplifting suspect is still at large after initially fleeing on a LimeBike, charging a West Hartford Police officer, and running away after being Tasered.

Suspect in theft from Aldi. Courtesy of West Hartford Police

By Ronni Newton

A shoplifting suspect dropped his backpack full of stolen merchandise, but after fleeing police on a LimeBike and getting into a scuffle with a West Hartford officer who attempted to stop him, the suspect fought through a Taser and is still at large.

West Hartford Police Capt. Mike Perruccio said that the suspect, a Hispanic male wearing black clothing and carrying a black backpack, stole several items from the Aldi at 511 New Park Ave. at 10:37 a.m. Friday.

Police responded and quickly located a man on New Park Avenue near Foley Street who matched the description of the suspect, and was fleeing the scene on LimeBike.

When the officer instructed the suspect to stop, Perruccio said, the man instead accelerated and charged toward the officer.

The officer was able to tackle the suspect and knock him to the ground, but the suspect ran off and a foot chase ensued, police said.

The suspect ran into the yard of a home on Foley Street, police said, and the officer deployed his Taser, however the man was able to fight through the Taser and took off on foot.

Police established a perimeter and brought in a K-9 team from Berlin, but the track was not successful.

The officer sustained minor injuries – a scraped and bruised knee – but did not require medical treatment and returned to duty.

The suspect did drop his backpack, which was recovered by police. Perruccio said that the contents included 23 bags of peanut M&Ms and five bags of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, with a value of $90.72.

The suspect is still at large, and anyone who has any information about his identity or whereabouts is asked to contact West Hartford Police at 860-523-5203.

Friday’s incident triggered a “secure the school” protocol at Charter Oak International Academy, and Assistant Superintendent Andy Morrow said Friday that “any time there is police activity near the school, we put the school in ‘secure the school’ [mode].” What that means is that everyone is brought inside from the playground, but instruction otherwise continues without interruption, he said.

Morrow said that school administrators had been notified on Friday about a larceny at a nearby location, and police units in the area. He said that “secure the school” happens frequently, including when police are involved in a situation on a highway that is near a school.

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Suspect in theft from Aldi. Courtesy of West Hartford Police

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