Car slams into Conn. house, lands on sleeping man

Jan 31, 2012, 3:51 PM

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – A police chase ended early Tuesday when the suspect’s car slammed into a house, coming to rest inside a bedroom and on top of a sleeping man.

The tenant, 34-year-old Michael Sweat, was pinned under the vehicle for about an hour while firefighters worked to free him, New Haven Police Officer David Hartman said. He suffered burns, but his injuries were not life-threatening, authorities said.

The 5-mile long chase began in Hamden at about 12:30 a.m., after officers spotted the vehicle and determined the driver was wanted for motor-vehicle violations, Hartman said.

The officers tried stopping the SUV, a BMW X5, but the driver led them on a pursuit through the Southern Connecticut State University campus and into New Haven.

Hamden police dispatchers notified New Haven police, and told them officers had tried to stop the vehicle using “stop sticks,” which the suspect swerved to avoid, Hartman said.

The suspect lost control in New Haven’s Newhallville neighborhood, slamming into a corner house. The BMW crashed through the home’s facade, ending up fully within a first-floor bedroom and on top of Sweat, who was asleep in his bed, Hartman said.

The suspect fled the scene.

With Sweat pinned under the car, firefighters assessed the home’s structural integrity and used “manual and pneumatic tools and timber to shore up the BMW and the home itself,” Hartman said in a release. The process took about an hour, during which time Sweat received ongoing medical attention from paramedics and a doctor.

Once freed, Sweat was taken to a waiting ambulance and transported to a hospital. He suffered second- and third-degree burns to his buttocks and lower extremities, but his injuries were not considered life-threatening, Hartman said.

New Haven Firefighters, police and city building inspectors were expected to remain at the scene for the several hours while the BMW was being removed from the home.

Police were continuing their search for the suspect, and have asked the Connecticut State Police to help with the investigation.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Car slams into Conn. house, lands on sleeping man