Waterbury police have arrested a man accused of stealing a police cruiser and other crimes in their city.
Police said they have been searching for the suspect, 33-year-old Kristian Rivera, since October 5, 2019, when he was accused of stealing a car while the driver was pumping gas. Police said the driver got her hand stuck in the gas pump and was dragged along with the car until she fell and hit her face on the pavement.
Investigators identified Rivera as the suspect in that incident and secured an arrest warrant, but he was not immediately captured.
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Early Wednesday morning, a patrol officer recognized Rivera on Porter Street.
Investigators said when the officer approached Rivera, the suspect took off running. The officer tackled Rivera, who struggled, escaped the officer and drove off in the officer’s police cruiser.
The officer was treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
Rivera and the stolen cruiser were located in Seymour. He was found with a glass rack pipe and crack cocaine on him, according to police.
Rivera was charged with assault on a police officer, interfering with a police officer, first-degree larceny, criminal trover, and drug charges.
He also faces charges from his outstanding warrants, including robbery, assault, reckless endangerment, probation violations and more drug charges.
Police said Rivera has an extensive criminal history in Waterbury and also has outstanding arrest warrants from Glastonbury, Watertown, West Hartford, Derby, Torrington, South Windsor, and Connecticut State Police.
He was held on a combined $300,000 bond.