53-year-old Michael Salvaggi, of Massachusetts, who is wanted in seven states, was not about to stop his big rig for Old Saybrook police yesterday as he entered 95 south from Middlesex Turnpike.
“All units engage,” instructed Old Saybrook Police Chief Michael Spera, who was part of the pursuit, which lasted close to 15 minutes.
“Obviously, this is a very dangerous situation for all law enforcement partners, which is why we needed to get this person into custody,” added Spera in an interview Thursday afternoon.
State police joined the pursuit midway.
In another radio transmission, Spera said, “HQ, let the troop (Troop F) know we don’t know about firearms. The FBI could not confirm that, however, he has been violent in the past.”
The FBI tipped off Old Saybrook police that Salvaggi, who is unemployed, was likely to be in Old Saybrook to conduct some sort of business Wednesday.
“At some point, one of the cruisers was rammed by the tractor-trailer truck operator and then, with the help of another police department, stop sticks were deployed,” said Trooper Kelly Grant, of the Connecticut State Police.
And when Salvaggi drove over the sticks, his tires blew. Roughly a mile later, he pulled next to the jersey barrier, hopped out of the cab and darted across I-95 northbound, where he was apprehended.
Before he was arraigned Thursday on six charges, including assaulting a police officer, Salvaggi whispered to the FOX61 crew that the reason he did what he did Wednesday is that his father is dying and he is experiencing a great deal of anxiety because of that.
Salvaggi is being held on $1 million bond and will not appear in court again for a month. The state and his public defender said they need time to gather information about his outstanding warrants in seven other states.