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Stamford Cops: 61-Year-Old Man Caught In The Act Of Keying Police Cruisers

Stamford police
Stamford police Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn. — A 62-year-old man picked the wrong car to vandalize after he was spotted "violently keying" a police cruiser at the Stamford police headquarters, police said.

Even worse, the incident followed a police chase in Darien, police said.

The event began at about 10:45 p.m. Saturday when Darien Police pursued a red Chevy El Camino up to the Stamford border, police said.

After breaking off the chase, several Stamford units began to search for the El Camino and its owner, Nicholas Tartell of 68 Miami St., West Haven, police said.

At 11 p.m., Stamford police Lt Diedrich Hohn was traveling east on Hoyt Street, adjacent to the police headquarters when he spotted a white man bent over and "violently keying a Stamford patrol vehicle," which was parked on Hoyt Street, police said.

As Hohn exited his vehicle, he ordered the man to stop, but the man, wearing a black leather jacket and with long white hair, ran west on Hoyt Street, police said.

Officers gave chase and the man was tackled in the front lot of Stamford Police Headquarters, police.

The man, who was later identified as Tartell, began to struggle with Hohn and scream that he "hates the cops," police said. Several officers came to assist, and Tartell was placed into custody, police said.

A short time later, Sgt. Richard Phelan saw a red Chevy El Camino blocking the Hoyt Street entrance to the Police Headquarters, police said.

The vehicle matched the one that Darien was pursuing earlier, police said.

Closed-circuit video showed Tartell blocking the entrance to the headquarters, getting out of the car, and keying two patrol vehicles until confronted by Hohn, police said.

Officers found a large hunting knife on the front seat of his vehicle and a vast amount of prescription drugs, which were prescribed to him, police said.

Tartell was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal mischief, interfering with police, and weapons in a motor vehicle. He was held on $25,000 bond.

Darien police also issued him a summons for engaging police in pursuit and reckless operation, police said.

Tartell was taken to Stamford Hospital for a mental health evaluation, police said.

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