WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — The Waterbury man accused of driving through an active scene as police officers investigated a fatal crash involving a pedestrian, now faces a slew of charges, authorities said.
The investigation started just after 7 p.m. Tuesday on Chase Avenue, where 42-year-old Merton Larmore, of New Milford, was fatally struck by a car. He was taken to a hospital, where police said he later died. Police said the driver involved in the crash remained at the scene.
Police said 35-year-old Myrice Hodge drove through the crime scene about an hour and a half later. He nearly struck officers before putting his Jaguar into reverse, striking a police cruiser and a parked, unoccupied vehicle as he took off, according to police.
Body camera video shows officers chasing Hodge through city streets, attempting to stop him. Officers were able to take him into custody after he crashed into an apartment complex on Bradley Avenue.
WATCH: Waterbury police release body camera video
During the pursuit, Hodge tossed an “extensive amount” of heroin outside his vehicle, which officers later recovered on Highland Avenue. Police said officers also found heroin in his Jaguar.
Hodge has been charged with two counts of first-degree criminal attempt at assault, seven counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, two counts of evading responsibility, engaging police in a pursuit, motor vehicle offenses, and possessing narcotics with intent to sell. He was also served with an outstanding domestic violence warrant for second-degree assault and unlawful restraint with a bond of $5,000. At his arraignment Wednesday, a judge lowered his bond from $1,005,000 to $750,000.
“This is another prime example of a person we’ve been talking about for quite some time now that has an extensive history with the judicial system and is still out on the streets,” Waterbury police Chief Fernando Spagnolo said.
The police chief said Hodge has an arrest history in Connecticut and New York since 2004. He is a convicted felon for narcotics convictions in New York in November 2009. He was on parole from November 2018 to March 2019. He also has a pending case in Naugatuck, stemming from an arrest for felony narcotics offenses and criminal possession of a firearm, for which he was released on a $50,000 bond.
Spagnolo said there’s a task force dedicated to addressing violent crime in Waterbury and surrounding areas. He said, through this work, they’re hoping to prevent incidents like this from happening again.
“We’ll be collecting data, sharing that data,” he said.
No officers were injured in Tuesday’s incident in Waterbury. Spagnolo recognized them for their efforts.
“The officers involved in this incident acted with extreme courage and an incredible amount of professionalism,” Spagnolo said. “It’s a struggle for them, but they’ll come back, they’ll come to roll call today, and then they’ll go out and answer those calls.”
Police said the fatal crash involving the pedestrian remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Waterbury police.
The video below is from a previous News 8 newscast.