NAUGATUCK, Conn. (WTNH) – A Naugatuck man was critically injured after he was struck by a car while trying to prevent thieves from burglarizing his truck, police said.

Naugatuck police officers responded to the report of a person who had been hit by a car at around 4:40 a.m. Tuesday. Officers learned that a man had left his home on Alma Street to confront the thieves attempting to burglarize his truck.

Police said the victim was then struck by a black car, which subsequently fled the scene. The victim was left in the roadway with life-threatening injuries. Investigators said it appears the victim was intentionally struck.

Naugatuck police and EMS rendered emergency care to the victim who was transported to Waterbury Hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

The victim was identified as 42-year-old Joel “Brandon” Guth. The family of Guth describes him as a hardworking son and loving brother.

“His truck was his livelihood. He had his tools in there, he has his own business. Of course, he was going to run out and try to see he was breaking into his truck,” said Cassidy Mucherino, Guth’s sister. 

Guth remains in critical condition at Waterbury Hospital.

His family says he has a serious brain injury. 

Guth had to undergo emergency surgery. Part of his skull had to be removed due to the swelling in his brain. Guth is intubated at this time and is being kept alive by machines, according to his family who spoke at a press conference on Wednesday evening.

“The only thing you can do is sit and wait. Wait for doctors to tell you what the next thing they’re going to do or say about him. It’s just not easy,” said Mucherino. 

Guth’s family said he does not have insurance as of this time and any funds sent their way are appreciated. His family is awaiting more information on his condition as of this time.

Police believe there are multiple suspects involved. There were also other break-ins in the same neighborhood Guth was hit. 

The Naugatuck police chief says the department has started using license plate readers to help identify car break-in and burglary suspects. 

According to the police, officers seized a vehicle they suspected was used in the incident.

The Naugatuck Valley Collision Investigation Team and Detectives from the Connecticut state police major crimes squad lead the investigation.

Police said there is a strong likelihood that someone has direct knowledge of who is responsible for the criminal act and is appealing to their good nature to come forward with information on who is responsible for the incident.

Police are also urging those responsible for the crime to come forward and accept the responsibility for their actions.

Naugatuck police reminded the public of the dangers criminals can pose if confronted.

Anyone with footage of car break-ins or have information about the identity of the suspects is asked to contact Naugatuck police at 203-729-5221 or the department’s confidential tip line at 203-720-1010.