Police: New Canaan Man Caught in Father's Car with Crack

A 43-year-old New Canaan man was arrested Saturday after his father reported the man took his vehicle without his permission, apparently to go do drugs with another person, according to New Canaan Police.

Authorities responding to the 84-year-old complainant's Park Street residence at 8:13 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, discovered the suspect as he returned in the vehicle in question, according to Sgt. Carol Ogrinc.

Ogrinc said officers approached the vehicle to speak with the man, identified as Jonathan B. Steinmetz, of 275 Park Street, who was not driving the vehicle. As they spoke, officers noticed a white powdery substance on the door near the window control panels, Ogrinc said.

A resulting search of the vehicle also turned up what was determined to be a crack rock on the passenger's side seat, a glass pipe with a larger crack rock inside it in the glove compartment, and an unlabeled container with prescription pills in the center arm rest.

The driver of the vehicle, identified as Jose L. Velez, 53, of 50 Butler Street in Norwalk, claimed ownership of the medicine bottle, Ogrinc said.

Officers also found what appeared to be an assault rifle in the vehicle, which turned out to be an unmarked paintball gun lacking any of the identifying safety features, like an orange tip.

Steinmetz was charged with using a vehicle without the owner's permission, possession of narcotics, possession of paraphernalia and carrying a facsimile firearm. He posted a $10,000 bond and was scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 5.

Velez was charged with possession of a controlled substance and operating a vehicle with a suspended license. He posted a $250 bond and was scheduled to appear in court Dec. 3.


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