State police arrest man with previous DUI charges after chase

Groton — A Middletown man with a history of drunken driving convictions was arrested Saturday after police said he led them on a car chase, drove on the wrong-way on the highway and struck a trooper’s vehicle before he was apprehended.

Edward Czapiga, 53, was charged Saturday with driving under suspension, reckless driving, disobeying an officer’s signal, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, failure to drive right, interfering with police and first-degree reckless endangerment.

State police said they attempted to pull over Czapiga in the area of Interstate 95 South by Exit 90 because they saw him swerving between lanes. At first Czapiga began to stop his car but then took off, police said, leading police to chase him into Waterford.

Police said Czapiga swerved through traffic, nearly striking a car. Two troopers conducted a “box in” of the vehicle, causing the car to stop.

But when a trooper approached Czapiga’s car, he backed up his car and started to drive north in the southbound lanes.

Czapiga managed to turn his car around at Exit 83 in New London, where he led police on a chase north on Williams Street behind Connecticut College. During the chase, police said, he struck a trooper’s car.

The chase finally came to an end in a driveway on Burlake Road in Waterford. Czapiga was taken into custody after a brief struggle with police.

The incident happened around 2:55 a.m.

After a further investigation, police discovered that Czapiga had fled from state police in Westbrook earlier in the evening.

Police said Czapiga has four prior arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Czapiga is being held on a $99,000 bond. His next court date is scheduled for June 2.

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