Man due in court for assaulting elderly man, stealing his car in New London

A Brookfield man accused of assaulting an 88-year-old man and stealing his car outside a Walgreen's pharmacy in New London in June had been struggling with a heroin addiction and had been dropped off at the Southeastern Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (SCADD) detox facility a day earlier.

But Jason F. Natale, 38, ended up in jail instead of rehab.

Charged with first-degree robbery, third-degree assault of an elderly person, third-degree larceny, second-degree threatening and second-degree reckless endangerment, he is scheduled to make his first appearance Tuesday in the New London court where major crimes are tried.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit written by New London Police Patrolman Joseph P. Kondash, Natale attacked an 88-year-old man as he walked out of the  pharmacy at 698 Bank St. at about 3 p.m. on June 4. The man was with a female friend who suffers from dementia. The man said he placed his shopping bags on the back seat of his Mercury Sable and was trying to move his credit card from his pocket to his wallet when Natale grabbed his wallet and yelled, "Give me your keys," which were in his other hand.

The man said he resisted, and as the fight continued, Natale stated, "Do you want me to knife you?" several times. The suspect grabbed the keys and shoved the victim, causing him to fall backward and hit his head.

The man said he got up and went to the car, where he noticed Natale's backpack. He said he grabbed it and threw it away from the car so Natale couldn't get it. The backpack contained a cellphone and an airline boarding pass with Natale's name on it.

Part of the carjacking incident was captured on a surveillance camera. The victim, who was treated at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital, was unable to identify Natale as his attacker in a photo lineup presented by police. Natale's parents also watched the surveillance video and told police the attacker was their son.

According to the affidavit, Natale has previous convictions for third-degree burglary, third-degree assault, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and evading responsibility. He had returned from a treatment program in Florida 10 days before the incident. He went to a halfway house in East Haven, but his probation officer told police it had gone badly, and Natale was planning to enter Lebanon Pines' six-month treatment program. Prior to entering Lebanon Pines, patients often go to the SCADD detoxification facility in New London. 

After stealing the car, Natale told his father he rented a hotel room and attempted to kill himself using narcotics, according to the affidavit. His father told police that when Natale woke up the next morning and realized what he had done, he called his parents, who met him in a Danbury parking lot. The father said Natale gave them the keys to the stolen car and they took him to the Danbury Hospital Crisis Center. The parents gave the keys to Brookfield police and said their son had warned them there was a hypodermic needle in the car.

Natale is being held on a $210,000 bond at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center.

k.florin@theday.com

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