SOUTHINGTON - A New Haven man has pleaded not guilty to charges he disobeyed a police officer in June when he sped away from a Southington truck stop and launched his vehicle about three feet into the air during the getaway.
Steven Aberg, 28, appeared briefly Monday in Bristol Superior Court. During the hearing, he entered not guilty pleas to charges of second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving and disobeying the signal of a police officer.
Aberg’s attorney, Alfonzo Sirica, said he will need to contact the other attorneys representing his client in connection with a number of burglary cases in other jurisdictions before he can resolve the Southington case. He was granted a continuance until Nov. 1.
According to the arrest warrant, police on June 18 responded to the T/A Travel Center, at 1875 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike, on the report of a male who was passed out inside a vehicle. The officer located this individual and knocked on his car window.
The male, later identified as Aberg, woke up and was told to shut his vehicle off, the warrant said. Police reported seeing what appeared to be a crack pipe inside the vehicle.
Aberg, according to police, then realized that who knocked on his window was a cop and released his brake, allowing the vehicle to roll forward. The officer yelled for him to shut the car off, but police allege Aberg said no and sped away.
As this was happening, backup officers were arriving into the parking lot. To avoid hitting them, the warrant said, Aberg allegedly drove over a curb, which launched his vehicle about three feet into the air. Upon landing back on the ground, he drove away very quickly, police said.
Because of the dangers involved in a police pursuit, officers decided not to chase the vehicle and chose to identify him through an investigation. Police put out an interagency notification to police departments throughout the state. In response to this, police in North Branford and Monroe contacted Southington officers and told them the suspect may be Aberg.
The Southington officer involved in the incident was then able to use a Department of Corrections photo of Aberg and positively identify him as the suspect. He was arrested Aug. 22 and is being held on $1,000 bond.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.