Police arrest suspect in fatal Route 32 hit-and-run

james sposito
Photo provided by the New London Police Department.

New London — Police on Thursday said they took into custody the man who allegedly hit and killed a Connecticut College student and left the scene.

James Sposito, 25, of 6 Clark Place, Quaker Hill, was charged Thursday on a warrant with second-degree manslaughter, misconduct with a motor vehicle, tampering with a witness, tampering with physical evidence and evading responsibility. 

Sposito posted a $150,000 bond overnight and is scheduled to appear in New London Superior Court on Feb. 4.

Sposito allegedly was the driver in a Dec. 18 accident on state Route 32 that occurred in the early morning hours and killed student Ahmad Anique Ashraf.

A passerby found Ashraf, a 20-year-old from Lahore, Pakistan, on the northbound side of Route 32 near the entrance of Connecticut College that morning and called the police.

Ashraf, who was a member of the Class of 2017, has been remembered as a compassionate student who was a talented writer, a scholar in the Toor Cummings Center for International Studies and the Liberal Arts and a leader in the LGBT community on campus.

Police — who said an off-duty New London police officer quickly located the 2015/2016 Chrysler-type vehicle believed to have been involved in the accident — said they had identified a suspect in the hit-and-run on the same day the accident occurred.

They did not identify that suspect as Sposito until now.

In the time since the accident, crews from Eversource have repaired darkened streetlights along the stretch of Route 32 where Ashraf was killed, and readers have expressed frustration at the lack of an immediate arrest in his death.

Deputy Police Chief Peter Reichard on Dec. 24 explained that police were working on the case without releasing details to the public for fear of compromising the investigation.

In a statement emailed to The Day on Thursday night, Katherine Bergeron, president of Connecticut College, said the school's community is "grateful to New London Police Chief Margaret Ackley and to all the officers and detectives for their persistence" in the case.

"While the College community continues to mourn the loss of Anique Ashraf '17, the progress made on this case provides some consolation," Bergeron said. "We look forward to our ongoing efforts with the City and the State to improve pedestrian safety."

Police said the warrant for Sposito's arrest was issued at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and that they took Sposito into custody at his residence without incident about 6:15 p.m. Thursday.

l.boyle@theday.com

Twitter: @LindsayABoyle

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