It happened that there were police officers present when a driver came up an East Norwalk road headed in the wrong direction at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. It also happened that he tried to mow down one of those officers. Twice.
Norwalk Police Officer Gregg Scully and three other officers were directing traffic at East Avenue and Van Zant Street, where one lane was closed as pipes were repaired. A black Chevy Malibu with New York plates came around Cemetery Street in the wrong direction and up East Avenue. Officers quickly stopped traffic on East Avenue to avoid a head on collision. Scully told the driver to stop, and for a moment he did. Then Scully had to jump out of the way of the car, which just missed him.
The driver then backed up, heading past the traffic island down East Avenue. Scully had to jump out of harm's way again. The driver nearly hit him before taking a left on Cottage Street and speeding away.
Workers on the scene thought Scully had been hit and ran to see whether he was hurt. (He wasn't.) Sgt. Jeff Proudfoot got in his cruiser and chased the car but could not find it. An alert was broadcast and police blanketed the area. It was gone.
But Officer Jared Zwickler, who joined the force in February, heard the broadcast and recognized the description as a vehicle and driver he had stopped the night before. Police had a suspect, Theodore Briggs, 22, and they had the license plate of the car. Turned out it had been rented by Briggs' aunt from Enterprise Rent-A-Car. She was at work in Bridgeport, and was surprised because she thought Briggs was returning the car for her. Police found Briggs at 7 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of 39 Lexington St. He was with a group of teenagers in a different car. One of the teenagers, who was wanted for remanding of custody, was driving the car. Briggs, who has a history of narcotics arrests, and the teenager put up a fight before being taken in. Briggs was charged with criminal attempt, assault and interfering with a police officer, and held on $251,000 bond.
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