Police Charge Man Accused of Shooting Victim During Drug Deal Meeting

Police have arrested a man accused of shooting a person who was meeting him to buy drugs in New Haven, police said.

Police responded to the parking lot of the Hess gas station, 1331 State Street, just after noon on Thursday, Aug. 7 after getting a call from a 31-year-old East Haven man who said he’d been shot in the right leg and pistol whipped on Warren Street.

Police have identified the suspect as Dhati Coleman, 36, and took him into custody on Monday after a chase on the Merritt Parkway.

The victim said he'd called Coleman to buy drugs from him and they got into an altercation while sitting in the victim’s truck. 

Instead of selling the victim drugs, Coleman pulled a gun, demanded money from the victim and shot him in the leg as the men fought, police said.

The victim managed to get away by putting his truck in reverse and backing down the street.

As he was fleeing from the scene, Coleman fired a shot through his truck’s windshield, nearly missing the victim’s head.

The victim was transported to Yale-New Haven hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

When police identified Coleman as the suspect in the shooting, they checked his criminal record and learned that he’d fled from Connecticut after the shooting.

They also learned that there was an outstanding warrant from the Department of Corrections because Coleman escaped from custody in Hartford, police said. There was another warrant for violating parole.

On Sept. 8, police learned that Coleman was back in town and staying in a room at the Regal Inn at 1605 Whalley Avenue, so they set up surveillance just in time to spot Coleman getting out of a car.

When Coleman saw police, he ran.

With police in pursuit, Coleman led them through the parking lot, across Whalley Avenue during rush hour and onto the Merritt Parkway, where he was apprehended and arrested for the outstanding warrants.

He was also charged with four drug crimes and interfering with police.

A 25-year-old woman who was in Coleman's motel room was also arrested and charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.

Police are investigating the shooting and police are applying for a warrant  charging Coleman with the first-degree assault and weapons crimes.


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