SOUTHINGTON - A Naugatuck man has pleaded not guilty to charges he crashed into a police cruiser in the midst of a getaway from a shoplifting, injuring a police officer.
Nicholas Verity, 30, allegedly reversed into a cruiser, ramming it, in the parking lot of Stop and Shop, at 505 North Main St., after helping steal red bull and juice boxes - worth a total of $51 - from the grocery store on Nov. 21, according to police.
Police allege Verity and a woman left the store with the stolen items in a shopping cart. A loss prevention employee confronted Verity in the parking lot after the theft. After a brief struggle, he got into a Hyundai Elantra and tried driving away.
A police officer, who was handling an unrelated complaint, approached Verity’s vehicle on foot. As he drove away, a second officer arrived and tried to pull Verity over, police said. Verity reversed into the cruiser and surrendered to police after the collision. An officer sustained a minor injury during the crash, according to police.
Verity appeared in Bristol Superior Court on Thursday, when he pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree reckless endangerment, interfering with police, sixth-degree larceny, misuse of plate, failure to insure a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle under suspension.
Verity, who is being held on $50,000 bond, is due back in court on Feb. 28.
The woman who was with Verity, Erin Capozzi, 31, of Waterbury, was also charged in the shoplifting.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.