Reckless Driver Sues Over Accident
Source: The Hamden Journal
A 21-year-old New Haven man who led Hamden police on a high-speed chase on his all-terrain vehicle before crashing into a utility pole last summer wants the town to pay his medical bills.
Britt Martin, of 75 George Street, claims that Officer Stephen DeGrand and four other unidentified officers were responsible for his injuries because they violated a Police Department policy to discontinue high-speed pursuits when the risk exceeds the need for immediate apprehension.
Continuing the police pursuit was "reckless, unnecessary, and unwarranted," Martin's complaint said.
Police Chief Robert Nolan and Lt. Thomas Wydra also are named in the complaint for failing to order the termination of the police chase.
According to Martin's complaint, the incident occurred on June 9 around 4:30 p.m. along Wintergreen Avenue.
Martin reportedly fractured his right leg, right foot, left arm, and left elbow, and received numerous other cuts and bruises in the accident. He demands compensation for an unspecified cost of medical treatment.
The police report stated that DeGrand responded to a complaint that a man was driving a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle at excessive speed and in a reckless manner on city streets.
DeGrand reportedly observed the suspect on Wintergreen Avenue and engaged in pursuit. The ATV drove into New Haven, through the parking lot of an elderly housing complex, and back into Hamden.
DeGrand said the suspect went through red lights and made illegal turns while driving well in excess of the speed limit during the chase.
The officer's report said he broke off the pursuit of the speeding off-road vehicle twice, finally apprehending Martin at the accident scene.
Martin was charged with reckless driving, driving an unregistered motor vehicle, driving an uninsured motor vehicle and driving without a license.