Police Pursuit Ends in Real Life Nightmare for Sleeping Man

The victim was trapped under car for more than an hour

A New Haven man woke up to a real-life nightmare early Tuesday morning when a car police were pursuing slammed into his apartment while he was sleeping in bed and landed on top of him.

Just after 12:30 a.m., Hamden Police spotted a BMW wanted for motor vehicle violations and attempted to stop the driver.

Police pursued the car from Hamden to New Haven, through the Southern Connecticut State University campus and into the Newhallville section of New Haven.

Hamden Police made several attempts to stop the fleeing BMW, police said, but the driver lost control, crashed through a first-floor apartment at 91 Winchester Ave. and fled.

Michael Sweat, 34, a tenant, was trapped beneath the car for more than an hour as rescuers attempted to free him.

Sweat was taken to the Hospital of St. Raphael with second- and third-degree burns to his lower body and is expected to recover. He was in stable condition as of late Tuesday morning.

New Haven police were not involved in the pursuit, but are searching for the driver of the BMW who fled the scene. State police are also assisting in the investigation.

Neighbors said something like this has happened before at this intersection.

"Since I've been living here, it's been hit two times before," Quanda Dozier said. "It's a tricky corner, tricky intersection, when you're driving normally. It's even worse at high speeds."

Hamden Police Chief Thomas Wydra said his department would investigate the circumstances surrounding the pursuit and crash.

"I have directed the Ethics and Integrity Unit to immediately begin a comprehensive and thorough internal investigation to determine if any department policies, rules, or regulations were violated by the police personnel involved in the pursuit," Wydra said.  "My thoughts and prayers go out to the resident of 91 Winchester Avenue who was injured during the incident for a speedy recovery."

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