A Naugatuck police officer was released from the hospital two weeks after being hit by a car along Route 63 and undergoing multiple surgeries.
Naugatuck Police said Lt. Mark Pettinicchi spent over two weeks in the hospital and underwent "numerous complex surgeries" before being discharged from Waterbury Hospital.
He was transported to a long-term rehab facility where he'll continue recovering from his injuries.
"Lieutenant Pettinicchi's journey is far from over, and he has a long road to recovery ahead of him due to the nature of the serious injuries he has suffered. Lt. Pettinicchi wishes to express to the public that he has seen, heard, and felt the support of our communities. He says he has continually drawn strength from the support he has seen from the community and it has helped him on his road to healing," the police department said on Facebook.
Police believe Pettinicchi was intentionally hit. He was working a private duty job when the incident happened, according to police.
Naugatuck Police said they were initially called to Walmart on New Haven Road to investigate a shoplifting. A responding officer approached a suspect getting into a car in the area when they engaged police in a foot chase before being taken into custody, according to authorities.
While this happened, the suspected getaway car, a gray 2006 Honda Ridgeline, was fleeing the scene when they allegedly struck Pettinicchi at his traffic post on Route 63, police said.
He was directing traffic at an extra-duty traffic post in the area and tried to signal for the Honda to stop when he was rammed into, authorities said.
Pettinicchi is a veteran officer who has been working with the Naugatuck Police Department for 19 years.
Officials said that witness statements obtained during their investigation portrayed the incident as intentional.
The police officer was able to call for backup and other Naugatuck officers initiated a pursuit of the car after it failed to stop.
The car was eventually stopped on Interstate 84 in Middlebury. Police said that throughout the pursuit, people in the car had discarded drugs, money and a pistol, which were all later found and seized This included over $14,000 in cash, 412 bags of heroin, 11 grams of cocaine and a .380 pistol.