On the day after an attack at Middlesex Hospital, many are wondering how a man with a lengthy criminal history was able to get out and re-offend.
Police say 27-year-old Steven Ellam intentionally crashed his car into Middlesex Hospital and lit himself on fire on Thursday morning.
“I don't know anybody that would describe that as normal behavior. I think people would characterize it as deranged and delusional,” said Republican State Senator Len Suzio, of Meriden.
See pictures of the scene here.
Channel 3 has gone through Ellam’s criminal history that dates back nine years to when he was 18.
It’s littered with assault charges and family violence, but one incident that sticks out comes on June 16, 2013. The date of his sixth arrest.
On this day, Ellam strangled a person and pleaded guilty. According to state records, he was sentenced to seven years and had to serve 33 months of it.
But Suzio says Ellam got out on Dec. 27, 2015.
“That's all too often what happens with these mentally unstable people. They don't just rant and rave, eventually it becomes physically violent behavior,” Suzio said. “He did receive 77 days earned risk reduction credits for supposedly reforming.
On March 2, 2016, exactly two weeks before he would have been released if not for the credits, Ellam was arrested in Middletown on yet another assault charge.
Suzio is baffled that even then, Ellam was put on probation was roaming freely.
“It's time to stop letting loose dangerous and deranged criminals from our jails. They're a threat to our community and should be behind bars,” Suzio said.
Suzio, a longtime critic of the early release program, says Ellam is just another example of why it needs reform.
“Over 12,700 serious crimes have been committed by early release criminals after they were discharged from prison, supposedly reformed. That's equivalent to five violent crimes a day since the program has been instituted,” Suzio said.
He added that he wants to make sure people convicted of certain crimes are not eligible for the program.
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