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Police: Another Alert Citizen, Another Hit & Run Foiled

An alert neighbor -- and a video surveillance camera -- helped solve this hit-and-run case, New Canaan police said.

A driver hit a parked car on Summer Street, then had his own car towed, but left the scene without telling either the owner of the other vehicle or authorities, police said.

New Canaan police were still able to find and charge the man anyway, and here's how it happened, according to the police account (an accusation not proven in court):

At about 11 a.m. on Feb. 10, a Monday, Justin Formentin was driving on Summer Street when his car struck a parked 1999 Chrysler convertible.

A neighbor who witnessed the accident later approached Formentin, 20, who was changing the tire on his own car, a 2000 Nissan four-door sedan, and asked him a few times whether or not he was going to report the accident to police. Eventually, Formentin said that he would, and the neighbor later saw Formentin placing a call.

But the call apparently wasn't to police. Soon a tow truck came by and took Formentin's car away. By 2:30 p.m., the neighbor told police about the incident.

Police officers who went to the scene saw pieces of the departed vehicle on the roadway, and that helped later in confirming the identity of the car.

Another neighbor told police that she had video surveillance of the area, and when police reviewed it they were able to identify the tow truck that hauled away Formentin's car. From the tow truck operator, they found out Formentin's name and address.

They visited Fomentin's home on Elm Place and saw the car there, with what looked like a spare tire on it. They called Formentin and asked him to visit the police station.

Formentin said several times that he had only struck a snow bank. Police told him they had overwhelming evidence that he had struck a car.

Formentin was charged with evading responsibility and failure to drive on the right side of the road. He posted a $250 bond and appeared in state Superior Court in Norwalk. His next court date is March 12.

Editor's note: After a New Canaan Patch reader mentioned this case in a comment under another article about a driver charged with evading responsibility, New Canaan Patch asked police about this incident, which occurred almost a month ago. New Canaan police said the lack of mention of it was an oversight.
Sarah Norton March 07, 2014 at 09:02 PM
Sad that Justin could not take responsibility for smashing into that large purple snow bank and hanging around after his accident for a while until the tow truck came and took his car away after not calling the police…nice try.

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