A Fairfield Police Officer on routing patrol heard a “ping” on his LoJack device which tracks stolen vehicles. He located the vehicle at the I-95 southbound rest area. Before back up arrived the pursuit was on, at times exceeding speeds of 100 mph. Traffic was light and the suspect got off exit 18, on the connector and on to the Post Road to Hillspoint Road where stop sticks were used and then along Compo Mill and then Compo Beach. As the car turned from Compo Road South and headed west on Post Road East it rear ended a Bentley driven by Westport attorney Roger Leifer.
The car finally came to a stop behind the Westport Country Playhouse parking lot and the driver fled on foot. He kept police at bay for almost five hours. Canine dogs from Westport. Fairfield’s Canine Ruger was certified on Friday and was quick in action on the scene.
The suspect, Thomas W. Gardner, age 35 was wanted for a murder in Bedford, Massachusetts; the stolen car he was driving was the victims. There were eyewitness sightings of the suspect at CVS on the Post Road and at the Southport Train Station.
One Westport officer was injured while deploying the stop sticks, the suspect tried to hit the officer, running over his foot. A Fairfield Police Officer was injured at the train station on a chain linked fence, and another Fairfield officer was involved in a car accident with a civilian car en route to the Westport’s Playhouse Square shopping center where he was apprehended.