01/16/2011

Did Conn. police overreact in chase?

A recent high-speed chase raised questions about when it’s OK to roll out tire-blowing spike strips

New Haven Advocate

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Six Connecticut drivers will soon be getting a belated Christmas gift from the Westport Police Department — a set of brand-new tires. The department’s generosity is the result of a chaotic police pursuit in the early morning hours of Dec. 31, during which “spike strips,” also known by the brand name Stop Sticks, took out half a dozen civilian vehicles traveling at high speeds on I-95.

The pursuit began with an officer from the Norwalk Police Department, who began chasing a nonviolent suspect after he fled a traffic stop in a red Dodge Durango. The chase was ultimately picked up by the Westport Police Department, which deployed the spike strips in question.

There were no reported injuries to motorists who hit the strips, some of whom were traveling at up to 70 miles an hour when their tires were punctured. Westport Police Chief Alfred Fiore says they’re looking into the incident, which involved a lengthy pursuit by at least four law-enforcement agencies.

Read more on the New Haven Advocate.

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