Man Accused of Driving the Wrong Way on I-84 in Southington, Dragging Trooper

State police vehicle

Connecticut State Police have arrested a man who is accused of driving the wrong way on Interstate 84 west in Southington and dragging a trooper early Saturday morning.

State police responded to I-84 west near exit 32 in Southington shortly after 2 a.m. after getting a report of a wrong-way driver that went off the road.

Troopers and Southington police closed the highway to protect other drivers in the area.

When police arrived, they said they found 35-year-old Michael Newman, of Utah, driving in circles on I-84. His vehicle eventually stopped facing the wrong way, authorities added.

When a state police trooper was trying to remove Newman from his vehicle, officials said Newman drove off and dragged the trooper. Newman then turned the vehicle and began driving the correct direction down the highway, police said.

Troopers immediately boxed Newman in and investigators said Newman intentionally hit one of the police cars before crossing from I-84 west to I-84 east then back to I-84 west in an attempt to escape arrest.

At one point when Newman's vehicle was stopped, state police said a taser was deployed, however, it did not make contact with Newman.

Newman was later taken into custody where state police described him as combative.

According to state police, Newman is facing charges including reckless driving, illegal operation of a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs/alcohol, driving the wrong way on a divided highway, criminal mischief, assault on a public safety/EMS/transit/health worker and reckless endangerment. His bond is set at $150,000 and he is due in court on Monday.

No injuries were reported.

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