The man accused of committing a carjacking in West Hartford last week and crashing into two police cruisers in Hartford is being held on $750,000 bond
Alexander "Ace" Diaz, 22, was arrested last week after leading police on a foot chase on Park Street in Hartford.
His loved ones watched tearfully as he appeared in court on Monday.
Outside the courtroom, they said they're surprised by the allegations against Diaz, who is accused of stealing a 2003 white Toyota Camry from a 79-year-old man at the Elmwood Community Center in West Hartford on Wednesday.
"My brother is not a bad person. He's a very loving person and I just hope that the person he did this to forgives him," said Ebonee Alston-Gaddy, the suspect's sister.
"He needed a lot of stuff, he was stressed out, he needed money," said Linette Rodriguez, who says Diaz is the father of her two-year-old son.
According to court records, Diaz approached the victim as he was getting into his car, grabbed him by the throat, and forced him into the vehicle.
Diaz then asked the victim if he had guns or cash and the victim told him he had about $50.
Diaz then let the victim go, drove off with his Camry and cash, and picked up three other adults and two children, according to court records.
Police spotted the stolen car on Park and Putnam streets in Hartford around 3:50 p.m. on Wednesday. As officers approached the car, Diaz drove off and led them on chase, hitting two police cruisers, authorities said.
The car then hit a fence at Broad and Lincoln streets, a short distance away, and Diaz jumped out and ran off, police said.
Police said the three other adults and two children were inside the car when it crashed.
Diaz was arrested around 10 a.m. Friday and transferred to West Hartford police custody.
Sgt. Michael Perruccio of the West Hartford police, said an anonymous tip led them to Park Street.
Diaz was charged with third-degree assault on a victim over age 60, second-degree strangulation, second-degree threatening, second-degree larceny, second-degree criminal trover, two counts of risk of injury to a minor, three counts of assault on a police officer and third-degree robbery.
He was originally being held on a $500,000 bond but that amount was increased to $750,000 during his arraignment.
Diaz was on probation at the time of this crime and has prior convictions for robbery, burglary, disorderly conduct, and risk of injury to a minor, according to court officials.
Diaz is due back in court on Sept. 16.