Wrong-Way Driver Rammed Cruisers After 30-Mile Chase: Police

Thomas Plesz, 55, was charged with driving under the influence. His attorney said Plesz's blood alcohol content was .04 two hours after the incident.

A 55-year-old Connecticut man was driving under the influence when he sped the wrong way on Route 8, leading troopers on a 30-mile chase that ended when he rammed two police cruisers, according to state police.

Thomas Plesz, of Fairfield, was charged with reckless driving, operating under the influence, driving the wrong way on a divided highway, assault on public safety, reckless endangerment, interfering with an officer and disobeying an officer’s signal.

Plesz's attorney said police measured his alcohol level and it was .04 two hours after the incident. The legal limit to drive in Connecticut is .08.

He was arrested early Wednesday morning after 911 callers reported a 2009 Nissan Frontier pickup truck traveling the wrong way on the southbound side of Route 8 near exits 11 and 12 in Shelton, according to police. A trooper, with emergency lights flashing, went after the truck.

Instead of stopping, Plesz sped off in the wrong direction, according to police. At that point, state police alerted authorities from local towns, asking them to stop other vehicles from getting on the southbound side of the highway.

At exit 21, Seymour police used stop sticks, which hit two of the tires on Plesz’s pickup. Police said Plesz kept driving, swerving around cruisers that tried to stop him and intentionally ramming one of them just before exit 38 in Thomaston.

Plesz then crashed into the back of another before stopping, according to state police.

Police said the two troopers who were struck were sore but not hospitalized. One of the vehicles sustained little damage and is still on the road. No information was available on damage to the other car.

Plesz appeared in court Wednesday to answer to the charges against him. He applied for a pre-trial program and the case has been sealed, so the warrant for his arrest was not available. 

His attorney also issued an objection to media coverage of the arraignment and said in a court filing "there is substantial reason to believe that such coverage will undermine the legal rights of Mr. Plesz."

He was originally held on a $25,000 surety bond, but bail was reduced Wednesday to $5,000.

Plesz is due back in court on April 6. 

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