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Man Charged With Robbery, Attempted Carjacking After West Hartford Melee

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James Walker was charged with illegally discharging a firearm and trying to steal two cars, police said. (Courtesy of West Hartford Police)

WEST HARTFORD — A New Britain man was in custody on $1 million bail after police say he tried to carjack an acquaintance on Oakwood Avenue Wednesday night, fired a shot when the driver sped off, then tried to carjack another vehicle on Troy Street.

James Walker, 38, of 23 Linden St., was taken into custody by West Hartford officers a foot chase that ended near 192 Arnoldale Road. and charged with two counts of first-degree robbery, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, unlawful discharge of a firearm, attempted car jacking, two counts of reckless endangerment, attempted first-degree burglary, interfering with police, possession of narcotics, breach of peace, threatening, possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle, larceny and criminal mischief. He is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Superior Court in Hartford.

The incident unfolded about 10 p.m. Wednesday when, police said, Walker and an acquaintance returned to 30 Oakwood Ave. from Capen Street in Hartford. Walker had paid $20 to the resident of 30 Oakwood to drive him to West Hartford.

When they arrived at 30 Oakwood, police said, Walker ordered the driver to give him his cash and cell phone, then got out of the passenger door, walked around to the driver’s door and ordered the driver to give him the car. Instead, the driver sped off and Walker fired a round at it, police said.

Police were called after that shot and quickly set up a perimeter and learned the man they were looking for was last seen running toward Park Road.

An officer then saw the man running north on Troy Street. Police would later learn that Walker pointed his gun at the resident of 45 Troy St. and ordered him to hand over his car keys and cell phone. Walker apparently took off before getting the keys and phone because police were closing in.

Walker than ran onto nearby Beverly Road, where another officer saw him run behind 101 Beverly. A police dog was called to the scene and located a man matching the suspect’s description walking out of the back door of 192 Arnoldale Road with the resident.

Police were able to ID Walker as their suspect and he was taken into custody.

Police recovered two stolen cell phones, stolen car keys, $70 and cocaine from Walker. The handgun, a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver with spent rounds, was also recovered, police said.

Police said they determined later that Walker tried to break into the second floor apartment of 192 Arnoldale Road.

By David Owens, Hartford Courant

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