New Britain Man Charged After Rush Hour Chase

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By David Owens, Hartford Courant

NEW BRITAIN — A woman is safe and her alleged kidnapper is in custody after a rush hour police chase that began in New Britain, continued into neighboring Newington, then ended back in New Britain.

The incident was first reported at 5:17p.m. when New Britain officers were called to the area of Kelsey Street and Rocky Hill Avenue for a report of a woman being abducted and forced into a car. The car, a gray Scion, then sped off.

New Britain plain clothes police officers quickly spotted the car. They and officers in marked cars tried to stop the Scion. The driver did not stop and drove onto Route 9.

Officers chased the Scion, which got off Route 9 at Cedar Street and continued into Newington, where Newington officers joined the pursuit. Speeds reached 60 to 65 mph.

The car then headed back to New Britain, and officers got it to pull over on Overlook Avenue at Farmington Ave. The driver, identified as Xavier Vasquez, 23, was taken into custody after a struggle with police during which officers suffered minor injuries. The chase ended about 5:35 p.m.

The woman was in the back seat of the car, was OK and is cooperating with police. She and Vasquez have a child together.

Vasquez, a convicted felon, was charged with second-degree kidnapping, engaging police in pursuit, interfering with police and reckless driving. he was held on $350,000 bail and is to be arraigned Tuesday morning in Superior Court in New Britain.

Police also held arrest warrants for Vasquez charging him with engaging police in pursuit, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license and speeding for an incident Dec. 6; and for failure to appear in court.

Newington police are investigating at least one instance of a vehicle being struck by Vasquez during the chase. No injuries were reported.

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