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Police nab suspect who assaulted trooper in Danbury

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DANBURY - Police have captured a man who hit a state trooper and sped off while he was being handcuffed during a traffic stop.

On Saturday morning around 9:15 a.m., a state trooper was conducting a check of the I-84 Exit 1 Commuter Lot in Danbury, when he approached a vehicle with a man passed out at the steering wheel.

Police say the man, Marc D. Debenigno, 38, of Clayton Drive in Danbury, had narcotics and drug paraphernalia on the passenger seat beside him.

The trooper woke Debenigno, who stepped from his vehicle. It was determined Debenigno was not having a medical emergency, and he was placed under arrest.

Police said Debenigno struggled while the officer was placing the suspect in handcuffs and was able to break free. The trooper used a Taser, but missed.

Debenigno took off in his vehicle with a set of handcuffs attached to one of his wrists.

“It appears to me that the suspect was being cuffed when he took off," Trooper First Class Kelly Grant said. "I’m not sure if it was his right hand, but yes, a handcuff is attached to one of his wrists.”

Debenigno crossed the New York State line and exited on to Route 22 before circling back on to I-84 East. The suspect continued at a high rate of speed before getting off Exit 3 and crashing into a guard rail after traveling south on Route 7.

Debenigno ran away and disappeared into a wooded area near the crash site. He was sought for several hours, including by a helicopter and fire department boat.

He was found in the water at Sugar Hollow, near a swamp off Route 7,  and was taken into custody again at about 4 p.m.

He was taken to Danbury Hospital for evaluation.

Debenigno was charged with possession of narcotics, assaulting a police officer, escape from custody, engaging in pursuit, reckless driving, and reckless endangerment. He is slated to appear in Danbury Superior Court on Monday.

There were no police nor civilian injuries.