PLYMOUTH - A woman has been given a suspended sentence after, in 2019, striking three police cruisers in Plymouth, a building and other vehicles before leading police on a high-speed pursuit.
Bernice Martinez, 29, faced sentencing last week in New Britain Superior Court, where it was ordered that she will serve three years of probation. While on probation, a violation of her conditions would expose her to as much as a decade behind bars.
Martinez’s sentence was part of a plea bargain she accepted. Although she received a suspended jail sentence, judicial records show that she was held in custody for some time while her case was pending.
Under the terms of the plea deal, Martinez pleaded guilty to charges of attempted assault on a police officer, engaging police in pursuit and evading responsibility.
The charges stem from an incident on May 28, 2019, when officers were called around 12:37 p.m. on the report of a Kia Sportage sideswiping another vehicle on South Riverside Avenue. Both vehicles took off from the scene.
Just less than 10 minutes later, police received another call, this one reporting the damaged Sportage was pulled over at the Patco Convenience Store, at 131 Main St., where the driver, later identified as Martinez, was attempting to put air into one of the tires.
An officer approached Martinez, later noting that she appeared “nervous and anxious.” She refused to stand up and was grabbed by the officer, police said. Martinez then pulled away and attempted to flee, according to police. She made it to the driver seat, and the officer was able to get a hold of her shirt. Martinez tried to close the SUV’s door on the officer’s arm, according to police. She then, police said, put the Sportage into reverse, so the officer let go of her to avoid being struck.
Martinez backed into a pickup truck before striking a police cruiser, according to police. She then struck a concrete barrier multiple times and another police cruiser, police said. Police said she then struck the convenience store and got onto Route 6, where she struck a third police cruiser.
Still with one flat tire, Martinez engaged police in a high-speed pursuit into Bristol, where the chase was called off for safety concerns.
According to Plymouth police, officers in Hartford located the Kia Sportage after it was involved in an accident. The vehicle was abandoned.
No injuries were reported in any of the crashes.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.