DARIEN — A 35-year-old Bridgeport man was charged after allegedly engaging police in a chase and lying about it.

On Jan. 11 around 10:10 p.m., an officer saw a black 2003 Chevrolet Cavalier with heavy front-end damage going down Heights Road. The car didn’t have its headlights on. The officer followed the car onto Hecker Avenue, at which point the car began speeding. The officer turned on his lights and sirens in an attempt to stop the car, but the vehicle began passing cars in the oncoming lane. The officer followed the car onto Interstate 95 North, at which point the chase ended for safety reasons.

The officer contacted the owner of the vehicle, based on the license plate number. The owner, Benjamin Nieves, told the officer the car in question was disabled due to a broken fuel pump and the officer had the wrong car. Nieves went to Darien police headquarters to show images from a security camera of his car in the driveway of his home. The officer pointed out the car was in different places at different times and Nieves told the officer he pushed the car around the driveway to get into the garage.

Nieves then told police a friend may have taken the car. Police spoke with the friend who initially said he had the car but not in Darien. After more questioning, he said he actually didn’t have the car but was trying to help Nieves by saying he did.

Based on their investigation, officers placed Nieves, of Smith Street in Bridgeport, under arrest for reckless driving, disobeying the signal of an officer and failing to have lights lit. He released on a $15,000 bond and given a court date of Jan. 23 in Stamford.

ekayata@hearstmediact.com; @erin_kayata

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