NORWICH — A 28-year-old man is accused of driving into the side of a Norwich police cruiser and threatening to shoot an officer on Tuesday before fleeing into a department parking lot and striking more vehicles, police said.
At approximately 6:40 a.m., an officer was parked in the area of Judd Road when his cruiser was "intentionally" struck on the passenger side by a Honda Accord, police said. The driver, identified as Roland Euell, allegedly exited his car and threatened to shoot the officer before driving off.
The officer was transported to The William W. Backus Hospital with minor injuries, police said. No firearms were displayed during the incident, police said.
When police located Euell’s vehicle in the area of Rockwell Street, he allegedly engaged officers in pursuit into the rear parking lot of the Norwich Police Department headquarters building on Thames Street.
Police said Euell struck police and personal vehicles before being taken into custody after his car became disabled.
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On Tuesday afternoon, vehicle debris, including what appeared to be a fender, was seen near the parking area's entrance. Lt. John Perry said damage is estimated to be "in excess" of $20,000 and involved two police cruisers and a personal vehicle.
Perry said this isn't the first time police headquarters has been the scene of vehicular violence. Years ago, a vehicle plowed into the building's front lobby prompting the erection of several safety posts near the front entrance.
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Perry said the department is re-evaluating its safety precautions. The department for years has discussed moving from its current location to a more secure facility.
"We have to balance access with the safety of officers and members of the public who come here," Perry said. "These types of incidents are happening nationwide."
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Perry said officers have in recent months been working mandatory overtime to cover shifts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This isn't a warzone and officers shouldn't be worried about their lives 24 hours a day when they come to work," he said.
Euell was charged with second-degree assault with a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, assault of a public safety officer, second-degree threatening, first-degree criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.
Euell was held on a $200,000 cash/surety bond and is due to appear in Norwich Superior Court on Feb. 10.
Euell was charged by Norwich police in December 2020 with driving without a license, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, failure to display lights and improper use of a marker, license or registration, according to the state's judicial website. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and is due next in Norwich Superior Court on Jan. 28.
Euell has previous convictions for third-degree assault, criminal mischief and criminal trespass. In 2014, he was sentenced to serve 45 months in jail on a third-degree robbery charge, state records show.
John Penney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (860) 857-6965.
This article originally appeared on The Bulletin: Norwich car chase ends in police lot, Roland Euell arrested