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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New Haven man charged after snowy chase on stolen plow

By James Tinley
Register Staff
— A New Haven man was arrested after allegedly leading police on a drunken “low-speed” chase through three towns while driving a snow plow that police say he stole from the parking lot of a Boston Post Road diner.
David Banister, 44, of 863 Quinnipiac Ave., was charged with taking a plow truck from outside the Kimberly Diner just before 7 p.m. Friday, police said.
He refused to pull over during the pursuit down the Post Road through Orange and into West Haven on the snowy evening, said Officer Vaughan Dumas, Milford police spokesman. Milford, Orange and West Haven police all responded as he passed through the three communities.
When he got to West Haven, Banister jumped out of the snow plow in the area of Jeffrey Street and hid under a van on Knox Street, said Sgt. Martin Garcia, West Haven police spokesman.
Police were able to track him by following his footprints in the snow and with the help of the Milford police dog Justice and the West Haven police dog Texas.
When police found Banister, he refused to come out from under the van and the dogs were released to pull him out, Garcia said.
“We said repeatedly that if he didn’t come out, we would deploy the dogs,” Garcia said. “And he didn’t come out, so we deployed the dogs.”
Banister was offered medical treatment at the scene but refused.
He was also accused of hitting another vehicle while leaving the diner parking lot, and he refused to submit to a sobriety test, police said.
Banister is facing charges of first-degree larceny, evading responsibility, driving while intoxicated, failure to drive right, failure to obey officers’ signals and operating a motor vehicle without a license.
Both police spokesmen said they have no idea why Banister decided to steal the snow plow. Banister is free on $10,000 bail pending his court date March 11.


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