Town leaders in Tolland discuss recent street takeovers

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 8:15 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2023 at 6:23 AM EDT
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TOLLAND, CT (WFSB) - Tolland officials met with community members Thursday night to talk about how they’re combating street takeovers.

Law enforcement officials have tracked street takeovers in Meriden, where a group was jumped on a police cruiser, Simsbury, New Haven, and Tolland.

A couple told Channel 3 that they were caught in the middle of the Tolland takeover on their way home from dinner last month. They drove into it, not knowing what the hundreds of cars, and people, were doing in the middle of an intersection. There were about 200 people, state police said. They were described as violent. The group kicked the couple’s car and smashed its mirrors.

Police were notified that a “street takeover” group headed to the Big Y around 9:50 p.m. that day.

Detectives monitoring the situation set up a perimeter.

Officers were ready, but shortly after, they were notified that the group left. Minutes later, the victims called 911.

“There was no intelligence or information or past history of any of these street takeovers resulting in the physical attack on civilians, innocent bystanders,” police said.

Police arrested the alleged ringleader, Jefferson Duron a couple of weeks ago. However, Tolland residents said they hope more is done.

No one was hurt in that case.

An adult involved was expected to be arrested soon, police revealed. They are working with the FBI.

“It’s very frightening. I felt very bad for the lady whose car was attacked. I think all of us should be a little bit scared and I’m hoping [at] the meeting [Thursday night] they can find some resolution or some action plan if it happens again,” said Stephen Gudernatch of Tolland.

Thursday night’s meeting was going to be at the fire training center, but it got moved to the middle school because of a big turnout.

It started at 7 p.m.

State police met with Tolland residents to address concerns and earn back the trust following last month’s street takeover.

“I pity those poor people that were in that position. It’s not right,” said May Sullivan of Tolland.

Most of the culprits were teenagers, state police said.

“I don’t know what’s gotten into our young people. I really don’t,” Sullivan added. “There has to be consequences for what these people are doing. Not only [in] our town, but every town.”

“I just want to be clear, we were not standing down,” state police said.

They planned on getting FBI support, and they’ll be using social media to keep tabs on any planned takeovers.

This was the first and, the community said it hoped, the last time Tolland sees a street takeover.

“If these illegal mobs return to Tolland, they will see full force from state police,” said Kevin Eklund, Tolland resident state trooper.