PLYMOUTH - A Waterbury man was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Wednesday after leading police in September on a very long, high-speed chase, during which one officer was injured.
Edward Hightower, 55, accepted a deal offered by prosecutors during his hearing in Bristol Superior Court. He pleaded guilty to one count each of interfering with police and first-degree reckless endangerment.
In exchange, numerous charges were dropped, including those of assault on a police officer, first-degree criminal mischief, engaging police in pursuit, second-degree breach of peace, failure to obey a stop sign, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, improper use of a marker or license plate, reckless driving, disobeying an officer, failure to stop on right side of the road and operating without a license.
According to court officials, police on Sept. 9, at about 8:41 p.m., tried to pull over a Ford Taurus on South Main Street because its license plate was expired and did not belong to that vehicle. The driver, later identified as Hightower, refused to stop.
At some point during the chase, a K9 officer joined the pursuit and was injured when his cruiser was forced off the road and into a guardrail by Hightower’s vehicle. The officer was treated at an area hospital for a head injury. The dog in the cruiser was not injured.
According to court officials, Hightower continued eluding police for about 20 miles through Bristol and into Southington, where officers were able to block his vehicle from going any further. He was taken into custody immediately after the pursuit and had been held on $100,000 bond until Wednesday.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.