NEW BRITAIN – A city teen is facing charges after he refused to stop for police who were trying to corral him and fellow dirt bike riders who grabbed an officer’s radio Tuesday evening.
Yaniel Orlando Fernandez, 18, of 225 North St., was among of a group of people illegally riding dirt bikes in the Broad Street area at around 8:30 p.m. A detective saw the group and followed them to a nearby gas station where they were gassing up, Lt. Jeanette Portalatin said. The detective positioned his unmarked patrol car to block the riders in but they began to scatter, Portalatin said.
During the incident, the detective lost his police radio which fell on the ground. As he was fleeing, Fernandez picked the radio up and began playing with it, which interfered with police transmissions as dispatchers were trying to deal with calls for service, Portalatin said. Fernandez took off and was spotted in the area of Stop & Shop on Corbin Avenue, where he lost control of his bike and fell off, she said.
He then engaged police in a foot pursuit to Newfield Street where he was taken into custody. Under a new city ordinance, police seized his dirt bike, which will be sold at an auction, and issued him a city ordinance violation, police said.
The violation comes with a $1,000 fine. The police department has seized between five and 10 dirt bikes since the ordinance went into effect earlier this year, Chief James Wardwell said. Fernandez was also charged with second-degree larceny for taking the police radio, interfering with police, reckless driving, operating without a license, disobeying an officer’s signal and operating an unregistered motor vehicle.
He was released after posting $10,000 bond and will be scheduled to appear in New Britain Superior Court in the next few weeks.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.