New Haven man arrested after second police chase when car tire goes flat

Jessika Harkay, Hartford Courant
·2 min read

A New Haven man who almost succeeded in eluding police a second time after he escaped a February chase was arrested and taken into custody Friday night after his car had a flat tire.

Brian Pendergrass, 25, had an active arrest warrant from an incident in February where he was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving and interfering with an officer. He was able to get away after he drove his car toward officers, then sped away, police said.

The same car from that incident, a Hyundai Elantra, was spotted by the New Haven Shooting Task Force around 11:30 p.m. Friday, near Howard Avenue and Spring Street in the Hill neighborhood, police said. When patrol officers tried to conduct a traffic stop, Pendergrass again led them a high-speed chase, running multiple red lights before officers terminated the pursuit for safety reasons.

Police then began to drive toward Pendergrass’ last known address, when they noticed the car he was in earlier on the shoulder of I-95 northbound, near Exit 3, with a flat tire. They then saw him and a woman running.

“Officers converged in the area and pursued the couple on foot. Pendergrass ran across a highway ramp and jumped down an embankment and onto a railroad track,” New Haven police Capt. Anthony Duff said. “A short time later, additional responding officers located Pendergrass hiding under a motor vehicle on William Street near Bradley Street. After a brief foot pursuit, officers also detained passenger Ollige McInnis (20) of Hamden.”

Police called for a medical evaluation. Pendergrass was treated for a minor injury and both he and McInnis were transferred to the NHPD Union Avenue Detention Center. Pendergrass now faces additional charges including another count of second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving and interfering with an officer and second-degree trespassing.

McInnis was charged with interfering with an officer. She was released on a written promise to appear, and Pendergrass is free on $120,000 bond.

Jessika Harkay can be reached at jharkay@courant.com.