MERIDEN — A man faces charges after police said he struck a police vehicle while fleeing from officers and ran into the Quinnipiac River Wednesday night.
Armando Perez, no address given, was charged with assault on a police officer, interfering with police, criminal attempt to possess a firearm, reckless driving, disobeying an officer’s signal, and evading responsibility.
The incident began about 7:45 p.m. when police received a complaint of a suspicious vehicle in the area of South Avenue and Fourth Street, Sgt. Michael Boothroyd said. The brown Jeep Commander matched the description of a vehicle from a shoplifting incident at Big Y in Meriden on Tuesday, police said.
Officers arrived in the area in unmarked vehicles and tried to make contact with the driver, later identified as Perez, Boothroyd said. Perez reversed, struck the police vehicle and drove off.
Police were notified the vehicle pulled into the parking lot of 1012 Old Colony Road and two people got out and fled, Boothroyd said. Police saw Perez and started a foot chase into a heavily wooded area on the Meriden and Wallingford town line and found Perez trying to hide in the Quinnipiac River. As police tried to arrest him, Perez attempted to take an officer’s gun but was eventually taken into custody after a struggle in the river, Boothroyd said.
Police are working to identify the other occupant of the vehicle. Perez was held on $500,000 bond.