A suspected drug dealer arrested after a dangerous chase in Hartford and East Hartford was arraigned Wednesday on charges of attempted murder, drug possession and sale, and other offenses.
Jose Diaz is accused of trying to run down a parole officer on Columbus Boulevard in Hartford on Tuesday. According to authorities, Diaz led police on a dangerous chase from Hartford, into East Hartford, and back to Hartford where it ended at an apartment building on Wethersfield Avenue.
Diaz' wife, 9-year-old daughter, grandmother and brothers showed up at court to support him.
"He's not a violent person. I think whatever happened was he was scared because it's not the first time that this happens with him you know and police. They abuse him a lot," said Rafael Diaz, the suspect's brother. "He's really not a bad person."
His relatives say Diaz fled in self-defense after seeing a man point a gun at him, not realizing he was a police officer. They say he continued driving fearing officers would use excessive force on him, something Diaz' family claims has happened before.
"He don't try to do that, you know. He tried to escape because he was scared, you know," said Rosa Rodriguez, the suspect's grandmother.
Court records show undercover officers surrounded Diaz' Nissan Maxima on Columbus Boulevard and that he rammed their unmarked cars and then drove towards the median where Department of Correction Captain Mark Alderucci stood.
Alderucci yelled, "Police, police. Stop the car."
Diaz kept driving and nearly ran over the officer, according to court documents. Alderucci fired one shot and jumped out of harm's way, according to police.
Court records show police were looking for Diaz after they bought drugs from him during undercover operations. This was the third time they tried to stop him, but he also sped off at high speeds twice before, according to police.
Diaz has a long criminal record including convictions for selling and possessing drugs. He also has other pending cases, according to court records.
Diaz was ordered held on $1.15 million and is due back in court December 20.