A Branford man is facing charges after leading police on a car chase through New Haven and onto the highway, where he crashed, after officers caught him and a passenger smoking heroin in their car, according to police.
Police said 42-year-old Robert Salatto, who faced five outstanding arrest warrants, was sitting in a parked car outside East Rock Park in New Haven when the park was closing early Sunday evening and smoking heroin with passenger Amy Folland, 36, of New Haven.
Officers pulled up to Salatto's Mercedes to let him know it was time to leave the area when they noticed the drugs. Salatto tried to drive away as police approached and ended up ramming an officer's cruiser twice before driving off toward Hamden, according to police.
Authorities tried to intercept Salatto at the park gate but he took off onto Interstate 91 southbound and headed into the Fair Haven neighborhood. Police from New Haven and Hamden, along with state troopers, followed Salatto onto Interstate 95 northbound and into Branford, police said.
Officers watched him drive the wrong way onto the entrance ramp to the Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge on I-95 north, where Salatto crashed and his Mercedes became wedged between the bridge barrier and an oncoming van.
No one was injured in the crash, police said.
Salatto "struggled and fought" with officers as they were taking him into custody, according to police. He was arrested and charged with a number of motor vehilce violations, drug offenses and assault on an officer.
Salatto's pasenger, Amy Folland, 36, of New Haven, was charged with possession of heroin.