UPDATED (5/19) 10:30 p.m.: A Westport police officer was involved in a car accident while en route to assist fellow officers catch a counterfeiting suspect who tried to flee from police Thursday afternoon.
At about 3:45 p.m., Westport police located Surujbhan Chaitram, a suspect they believe had used counterfeit bills earlier in the day. As officers were taking Chaitram into custody, his alleged accomplice, Jose Puello, drove off in a silver BMW with New York plates, Westport Police Capt. Sam Arciola said.
Officers spotted the car driving recklessly along Post Road East but lost sight of it until it was spotted again speeding through downtown Westport near Post Road East and Main Street. Officers again located the car after Puello crashed into a utility pole at Post Road East and Riverside Avenue. Puello then fled on foot but was caught a short distance away.
Officer Wilgins Altera was on his way to assist in the foot chase when he was involved in an accident at Post Road East and Imperial Avenue. He was sent to Norwalk Hospital with minor injuries. The driver of the other car was not injured.
Chaitram, 19, of the Bronx, N.Y., was charged with four counts of first-degree forgery, four counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree forgery, three counts of sixth-degree larceny and four counts of conspiracy to commit sixth-degree larceny.
Puello, 26, also from the Bronx, was charged with reckless driving, four counts of first-degree forgery, four counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree forgery, three counts of sixth-degree larceny and four counts of conspiracy to commit sixth-degree larceny.
The U.S. Secret Service was contacted and is assisting in the investigation.
(This story was updated to include the suspects' names and more details about the case)
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