West Haven man engages police in pursuit, keys patrol car prior to arrest

A West Haven man was arrested in Stamford on March 5 after allegedly attempting to engage police in pursuit across multiple Connecticut towns, including Darien.

A Darien police officer attempted to stop a car traveling as fast as 55 miles per hour along the Boston Post Road, Ledge Road and West Avenue during the morning of March 5. The vehicle allegedly led the officer through a roundabout turn at the intersection of Post Road and Ledge before getting onto the highway, where the officer ended the pursuit.

The car was again observed traveling on Post Road but the officers opted not to follow the driver, believing a high speed chase would only increase the chance of danger. They notified neighboring law enforcement branches as to the car’s description. Stamford police would later encounter the same driver on Hoyt Street in Stamford, and track the car to the city line.

Based on the license plate the driver was identified as Nicholas Tartell, 62, of West Haven. Later that day Tartell would was seen keying a Stamford police patrol car on Hoyt Street. When confronted he allegedly screamed “[I] Hate The Cops,” and began struggling with officers. Inside Tartell’s car police found a large hunting knife and a large amount of prescription drugs in his name.

He was eventually placed under arrest for criminal mischief, interfering with police and carrying a weapon in his motor vehicle. Darien police added additional charges of reckless driving and engaging police in pursuit. Tartell was admitted to Stamford Hospital for a mental evaluation.