Man charged with DUI in Ledyard swimming pool car crash

Ledyard — A 2-year-old’s arm was nearly severed and her 4-year-old sister’s ankle was broken when their father, whose blood alcohol content was more than three times the legal limit, drove his car into a telephone pole last month and landed upside down in a swimming, court records show.

Marcus Harvin, 25, of New Britain was charged Tuesday with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, two counts of second-degree assault with a motor vehicle and two counts of risk of injury to a minor in connection with the May 25 accident.

He previously had been charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, reckless driving and failure to obey an officer’s signal.

Harvin was expected to appear in court on Tuesday but posted a $25,000 bond and is now scheduled to appear in court on June 24. A bond hearing also will take place that day.

According to the arrest warrant, state police had received reports of an intoxicated driver traveling south on Route 12. Ledyard police specifically were asked to keep an eye out because the driver was believed to be heading their way.

Police said a 911 caller had reported seeing a black Acura parked in the roadway at routes 2A and 12 in Preston. The witness a black male driver appeared to be asleep behind the wheel and two small children were in the back seat. When the witness approached the car and knocked on the window, the driver — later identified as Harvin — took off south on Route 12 toward Ledyard.

At about 12:53 a.m., a Ledyard officer spotted a vehicle that matched the description parked in the Henny Penny parking lot. The car was running and Harvin was asleep behind the wheel, the warrant said. The officer said two children in the back also were asleep.

The officer parked his cruiser behind Harvin’s car and knocked on the driver’s side window. The officer said he immediately smelled the odor of alcohol and noted that Harvin’s eyes were bloodshot and that his speech was slurred.

Harvin initially gave police a false name and admitted to drinking “a few” alcoholic drinks at Mohegan Sun casino prior to driving. The warrant did not indicate whether the children were at the casino or whether he picked them up somewhere else.

After telling him to turn off the car, the officer told Harvin he would administer a field sobriety test to determine whether it was safe for Harvin to drive. When the officer returned to his cruiser, Harvin took off south on Route 12 toward Groton at a high rate of speed, the warrant said.

The Ledyard officer turned on his lights and sirens and started to follow the Acura, according to the warrant, but after a brief time broke off the pursuit because of the young children in the car and concerns for their safety. But the officer continued to drive along Route 12 and came upon the crash scene about 1 a.m., near the intersection with Long Cove Road.

Police said Harvin’s car had left the roadway and had crashed in to a telephone pole before ending up submerged in a swimming pool at a Baldwin Hill Road address.

Officers quickly entered the pool to rescue the children, who were trapped in the car. They then assisted in freeing Harvin.

In a subsequent search, they found Harvin in possession of a small bag of marijuana.

Police said the 2-year-old girl’s right forearm was partially severed, connected to her body only by a small amount of skin. The 4-year-old had bruising and fractured her ankle.

The 4-year-old was taken to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London, where she was treated and released. The 2-year-old was transferred to Yale-New Haven Hospital where, police said, she remains.

Harvin also was taken to L+M, where blood samples were drawn. An analysis found his blood alcohol content was 0.293 and an urine analysis came back positive for marijuana use.

Police spoke with the girls’ mother on May 30. She said her youngest child had undergone one nine-hour surgery to reconnect the vein and arteries in her arm and a second surgery to clean the wound and remove dead tissue, the warrant said. She told police that there was a pulse in her four fingers, but her thumb did not have a pulse.

The mother said the little girl would have to undergo more surgeries, including a skin graft.

Court records show that along with several pending criminal cases, Harvin is on probation after serving six months in prison for a 2012 drunken-driving conviction.

i.larraneta@theday.com

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