A New Haven man is in police custody after leading Portland and Middletown police on a chase through both towns Friday night, during which he rammed several police cars as well as civilian vehicles.
Police say around 10 p.m., a Portland police officer was driving south on Route 17 over the Arrigoni Bridge when he initiated a motor vehicle stop after observing a 2005 red Pontiac Grand Am driving erratically, operated by 36-year-old Ijeboi Holmes. The vehicle failed to stop and continued south on Main Street. The driver of the Pontiac then made a U-turn heading north on Main Street, weaving in and out of traffic and struck a civilian vehicle and a Middletown police cruiser that were traveling in the same director.
At that point, when checking the registration the police found out the Pontiac was stolen out of West Haven. Police proceeded to follow the vehicle back over the Arrigoni Bridge on Main Street to Gildersleeve School. Holmes pulled into a driveway and then ran a Middletown officer off the road into a ditch. Then the vehicle, driven by Holmes, struck two more Portland cruisers and continued back onto Main Street in the southbound direction.
After avoiding stop sticks, Holmes drove his vehicle into a Portland cruiser that was blocking the road in an attempt to protect vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Holmes’ vehicle spun out, but still trying to escape, he backed into a Middletown cruiser that was behind it. At that point, Holmes was boxed in by a third Middletown police cruiser.
Holmes refused to get out and was forced out of the car by police. He had an active warrant for his arrest for Escape from a Halfway Home. All-in-all, Holmes intentionally struck two Portland cruisers (one three separate times), two Middletown cruisers (one twice) and two civilian vehicles.
No serious injuries were suffered by anyone involved – police or civilian.
Holmes was charged with numerous charges by both the Middletown and Portland police departments. They are seven counts of assault of police officers, interfering with an officer, third-degree assault, reckless driving, evading responsibility-property damage/injury and second-degree threatening. He’s being held on bond by Portland Police and has a May 6 court date.