Tensions run high as Waterbury murder suspect is arraigned in court

WATERBURY —  Friends of Dominique Pittman and Evalyse Santiago clashed outside Waterbury Superior Court on Wednesday afternoon.

Police say Pittman, 27, shot Santiago, 16, in his car before crashing into two utility poles on Thomaston Avenue in Waterbury on Monday night. Pittman was arraigned on murder charges and his bond was set at $3 million.

According to court documents, Pittman initially told police there was a third person in the car who was responsible for shooting Santiago, but then changed his story to say that he pulled the trigger.

Pittman also told police that he had a sexual relationship with Santiago, and that she was threatening to tell his girlfriend.

According to the teen’s family, Santiago’s aunt is Pittman’s girlfriend and the mother of his children. Waterbury police told FOX61 on Tuesday that they are investigating possible additional charges relating to the relationship.

Inside court, Pittman stood silently as the judge set his bond. His friends sat silently, some in tears, then shouting that they loved him as they left the courtroom.

Once outside court, friends of Pittman and Santiago clashed, swatting at cameras and microphones, prompting police to step in.

Pittman’s friends say he is innocent of the crime and did not have a sexual relationship with Santiago.

“He loves his children, his girlfriend,” said family friend Rosaura Rodriguez. “He was a good person. I don’t believe he would do anything crazy like that.”

“He didn’t do it,” said James Murphy, Pittman’s co-worker. “He doesn’t get in trouble. He doesn’t really bother anybody. It doesn’t make sense.”

“She didn’t deserve anything that happened to her,” said Santiago’s friend Davionna Copeland. “She was really cool, calm, collected.”

Pittman is due back in court on December 20.