Suspect in Dragging of Police Officer Said He ‘Didn't Mean it to Happen,' Police Say

A man police said stole almost $200 worth of beer from a Newington market, then dragged a police officer with his car, told police that he did not mean for it to happen, according to the police report.

Joshua Coonradt, 37, faces charges  including assault on a police officer, reckless endangerment, larceny, reckless driving, among other charges, Newington Police said. 

Police said they responded to the Best Market at 175 Lowrey Place in Newington just after 2 p.m. last Saturday to investigate a shoplifting in progress and an employee said a man and a woman left the store with $190 worth of beer without paying for it. 

The officer then tried to stop Coonradt when he drove away just over the Wethersfield town line on Wells Road, but Coonradt reached for a gun on the dashboard and a struggle ensued, police said. 

Coonradt allegedly then sped down Wells Road, dragging the officer alongside the car for around 150 yards until the officer was able to get free, police said. The officer sustained minor injuries. 

Police recovered the Honda Coonradt was driving. On Wednesday, Hartford police located Coonradt after learning about what happened in Newington.

Police said an officer on patrol saw someone on Elliot Street who matched the description of the man from the Newington incident. He was gone, but officers then spotted him at a market on Wethersfield Avenue.

At first Coonradt gave a false name, but he mentioned the Newington incident when officers said they knew who he was, police said.  

"What happened in Newington, I didn't mean to happen," he told police, according to a police record.

Coonradt's bond was originally set at $150,000, but was set at $5,000 on Friday. He has a public defender.

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