WEST HAVEN — Police arrested a 30-year-old man suspected of stealing a woman’s car and purse during a violent attack Wednesday afternoon inside her Nonquit Street address.
The incident triggered a massive police search in West Haven and New Haven. Police lost Michael Cooper after a car chase in the victim’s vehicle, but found him walking on Rangely and Sycaway Streets and took him into custody.
Cooper is charged with interfering with an officer, home invasion, second-degree strangulation, second-degree reckless endangerment, second-degree robbery, third-degree larceny, first-degree unlawful restraint, violation of probation and failure to appear.
Police say additional charges are forthcoming.
The victim told police the suspect, later identified as Cooper, was sitting on her front stairs when she came home around 2:30 p.m. He said he was waiting for a cab.
Cooper then asked to use her telephone. As the victim walked to get her phone, Cooper charged her and choked her from behind, causing her to lose consciousness.
She awoke on her living room floor to Cooper dousing her face and body with a household cleaning fluid. He threatened to killer her unless she gave him her purse and car keys.
He took the items and fled in her 2005 Toyota Camry. The victim called 911 from a neighbor’s home. State police helped in the search by tracing the victim’s vehicle.
The vehicle led state troopers and New Haven police on a car chase that ended in the area of Whalley
Avenue and Davis Street in New Haven. Cooper fled on foot.
Detectives were interviewing a witness in the case near Rangely and Sycaway around 7 p.m. when Cooper walked by. He was detained and then arrested after a physical struggle, police said.
Detectives found the victim’s identification in his pocket, police said.
Cooper is in custody with bail set at $500,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Superior Court in Milford.
By Hilda Muñoz, Hartford Courant