‘Street takeover’ damages police cruiser in Meriden; arrests made
MERIDEN, CT (WFSB) - Meriden police revealed more about a street takeover that damaged one of their cruisers earlier this month.
They released more information on Friday during a 9 a.m. news conference, including the arrests to two suspects.
Tatiana Ortiz, 18, and 22-year-old Shawn Mills were both charged after police managed to identify them.
Police are looking identify more suspects.
The incident happened on May 6 around 11:15 p.m.
Police said they responded to the parking lot of 1201 East Main St.
“This location has several businesses that were closed at the time of this incident,” they said. “This agency received nine separate calls regarding a large congregation of vehicles causing a disturbance in the lot. They reported cars racing, squealing tires, loud music, people using loudspeakers and fireworks.”
When officers arrived to the lot, they said they found several people. The people congregated in front of a cruiser as an officer pulled in to the east side of the lot to determine where the large plume of smoke had originated.
That’s when they said a man stepped in front of the cruiser and waved the crowd over.
“The group demonstrates tumultuous behavior and derogatory conduct towards law enforcement,” police said. “The crowd also climbs onto two parked tractor trailers parked nearby. As the crowd continues to gather and grow around the police cruiser there are no efforts made to adhere to the officers commands over his loudspeaker to disperse.”
Police said several members of the crowd climbed onto and danced on the hood of the cruiser while others aggressively banged on the hood. More than $1,800 in damage to the vehicle was reported.
Other responding officers were unable to get to the officer and help. Police said other cars had blocked access.
“Mutual aid was requested from the Connecticut State Police and Middletown,” Meriden police said. “The actions of these individuals forced these agencies to send officers lights and siren to an escalating and volatile situation. Sending mutual aid left their own communities short-staffed and vulnerable while assisting us.”
Police said they reviewed the cruiser dash camera after the incident. In the footage, an individual could be seen jumping onto the hood on the driver’s side of the police cruiser.
The suspect attempted to pull an item from their right pocket, which police believed to be a firearm. However, police said the individual was unsuccessful in brandishing the suspected firearm. As the officer eventually backed the cruiser up, the individuals got off the hood.
“The large and aggressive group then begins to follow and taunt the officer as he tactically relocated,” Meriden police said. “We need your help in identifying the individual attempting to pull the item from their pocket. If they are willing to pull, what we believe to be a firearm while on the hood of a police cruiser, we have concerns on what else this individual may do or have done with this item.”
Police said the information they shared about the incident led to arrests.
“For those sitting out here thinking you can get away with this know that we are after you,” said Meriden Mayor Kevin Scarpati.
“A lot of the spectators are kids,” said Sgt. Chrissy Jeltema, Connecticut State Police. “[They are] high school aged kids, so parents out there, please check with your kids. Find out where they’re going because this is a dangerous situation for them.”
Ortiz and Mills were both charged with first-degree criminal mischief, second-degree breach of peace, interfering with police, unlawful assembly, first-degree riot, and first-degree criminal trespass.
Copyright 2023 WFSB. All rights reserved.