BRISTOL - A city man was arrested Tuesday after allegedly eluding police when an officer tried to pull him over last month following a possible drug deal in the city.
Oscar Santiago, 28, of 369 Park St., is facing charges of reckless driving, engaging police in pursuit, failure to obey traffic control signal, interfering with an officer, operating without registration or suspended license, first-degree reckless endangerment and two counts of improperly passing another vehicle.
According to the arrest warrant, an officer on routine patrol, on Sept. 28 at about 4:50 a.m., saw an unidentified male pacing back-and-forth between a convenience store on School Street and Brackett Park. He seemed “leery” of the policeman, the warrant said.
The officer immediately suspected that a drug deal may have been about to take place, he wrote in the warrant. After circling the block, the officer said, he now saw Santiago, driving a vehicle, pull into a convenience store and park at a nearby gas pump. At this point, police found that Santiago had multiple warrants out for his arrest and a suspended driver’s license, according to the warrant.
After Santiago got out of his vehicle, police said, he and the unidentified male walked out of sight of the officer, who was now parked across the street. Shortly thereafter, Santiago was seen walking from behind a nearby home and into the convenience store, where he made a purchase and got back into his vehicle. Santiago then drove away quickly, police said, not allowing them to pull him over right away.
It wasn’t until Santiago was on Riverside Avenue, headed east, that an officer was able to get directly behind him with his emergency lights on, signifying that he should pull over, police said. Instead, Santiago allegedly sped up and passed a vehicle by crossing over the yellow center lines, according to the warrant. The officer, believing a police pursuit would be dangerous, decided not to chase the suspect while he was somewhere in the area of the carousel museum. He instead was later granted an arrest warrant.
Santiago on Tuesday was also charged with second-degree failure to appear and one count of violation of probation. The failure to appear charge is in connection with a pending assault case in which Santiago allegedly skipped court on July 6. He is also serving probation because of a first-degree assault conviction in 2014, in which Santiago was sentenced to four years in prison.
Santiago appeared Wednesday in Bristol Superior Court, where bail was set at $270,000. His cases have been transferred to New Britain – the court where his 2014 conviction was imposed.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.