Road-side assistance leads to stolen vehicle pursuit, arrest in - WFSB 3 Connecticut

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Road-side assistance leads to stolen vehicle pursuit, arrest in New Haven

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Rolando Morales-Rios is accused of stealing a car from Hartford and leading troopers on a pursuit in New Haven. (State police) Rolando Morales-Rios is accused of stealing a car from Hartford and leading troopers on a pursuit in New Haven. (State police)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

A flat tire was what led state police to a suspected carjacker in New Haven.

State police said they arrested 35-year-old Rolando Morales-Rios of Hartford after he led them on a pursuit down the Merritt Parkway in New Haven.

Troopers said they first spotted Morales-Rios while patrolling down Route 15 south around 11 p.m. on Monday.

The 2017 Audi Q5 he was in had a flat tire in the right shoulder between exits 59 and 60 in Hamden.

A check of the license plate showed that it did not match the vehicle. A check of the Audi's VIN revealed that the car itself had been stolen out of Hartford on Sunday.

Troopers also determined that the original owner of the Audi had been carjacked at gunpoint.

State police said they tried to detain Morales-Rios, but he slammed the driver's side door and sped away.

Troopers engaged in a pursuit during which they said Morales-Rios intentionally struck a cruiser during an escape attempt. State police tried to box him in at the time.

Morales-Rios then tried to exit the highway at exit 59 in New Haven and lost control of the Audi.

State police said he struck a metal guardrail.

He left the vehicle and tried to flee on foot through a grassy area.

He eventually wandered back onto Route 15 where he was caught.

Troopers said they found him to be in possession of a fake gun, a knife and brass knuckles.

Morales-Rios was charged with first-degree larceny, reckless endangerment, criminal attempted assault on an officer, interfering with a police officer, possession of a facsimile weapon, possession of a dangerous weapon, possession of narcotics, possession of drug paraphernalia, improper use of a registration plate, operating with a suspended license, engaging in a police pursuit and reckless driving.

He was held on a $50,000 bond and scheduled to appear in New Haven Court on Tuesday.

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