09/01/2006

Police admit wrong man busted in Conn. shooting

By DANIEL TEPFER
Connecticut Post Online (Bridgeport, Connecticut) 
Copyright 2006 MediaNews Group, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

BRIDGEPORT — A man held for allegedly trying to kill a city police officer was released Thursday after police said they had the wrong man.

"The state is as interested in exonerating the innocent as it is convicting the guilty," said Senior Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Corradino after dropping charges of attempted murder, criminal possession of a pistol and carrying a pistol without a permit against Edward Pettway.

Superior Court Judge Roland Fasano then granted the motion by Pettway's lawyer, Public Defender Joseph Bruckmann, to dismiss the charges.

Pettway, dressed in a yellow prison jumpsuit, had no comment as he left the courtroom.

The 26-year-old Pettway, of Maplewood Avenue, has been held at the Bridgeport Correctional Center since Aug. 18.

Pettway and 19-year-old Tyeshon King, who is still in custody, were accused of firing at Officer Samuel Leon on Aug. 13 in the city's East End.

Leon managed to dive behind his police car to avoid being hit. Several bullets struck the car where he had been standing.

According to police, Leon attempted to question the two men after he saw them acting suspiciously near some unattended construction equipment at Williston Street and Seaview Avenue. But police said the two men pulled out pistols and began firing at Leon as he hunched down behind his car. One of the men stated: "I think he is dead" after they finished shooting, police said.

Leon managed to fire at the men as they ran off, but neither was hit.

King was later captured hiding on a second-floor porch on Seaview Avenue. But the second man initially eluded capture.

Police said Leon identified Pettway in a police photo database as the second assailant.

But Corradino said that while being taken into custody, Pettway told police he had an alibi for the time of the crime. He said when police checked out the alibi, they found it held up, and that Pettway did not shoot at the officer.

"This shows it pays to be honest with the police, because they do check out your story," Corradino added.

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