Middlebury Police were dispatched to an alarm at 192 Regan Road at approximately 11:40 a.m. on Jan. 7. Police responded and Officer Al Cronin encountered a red Mazda pick-up truck stuck in the driveway and also noticed that the front door of the residence was kicked in.
Officer Cronin went to the truck and ordered the subject, later identified as 42-year-old Eric Nienstadt, to get out of the vehicle. The driver ignored Cronin, locked the doors of the truck and kept rocking the truck back and forth. The truck became unstuck and he came at Officer Cronin, who had to run out of the way or be hit, according to police.
Nienstadt allegedly fled with police in pursuit, driving into Naugatuck, with Naugatuck Police assisting. He then reportedly turned around and came back into Middlebury up Route 63, continuing into Waterbury.
Nienstadt then began driving on the highway the wrong way, police said. Police did not pursue and attempted to figure where he would depart the highway. Connecticut State Police Troop A, Southbury and Waterbury Police assisted.
Nienstadt crashed on Route 8 going northbound in the southbound lane, according to police. He jumped from the vehicle and ran into the Brooklyn section of Waterbury. Officers chased him catching him finally on John Street near Congress Avenue in Waterbury.
Nienstadt, whose last known addresses were at 7 New St. in Danbury and on 47 Irion St. in Waterbury, faces multiple charges including: criminal attempt at first-degree assault; third-degree burglary; third-degree larceny; three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment; second-degree criminal mischief; four counts of third-degree criminal mischief; and three counts of disobeying the direction of an officer.
Police are working with neighboring police departments to see if there are connections to several similar burglaries in the area.
In addition to Middlebury charges, Nienstadt faces four violation of probation warrants that will also be served on Nienstadt out of the Danbury Court by Middlebury police, with bonds of $50,000.00 each totaling $200,000.