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Suspect in New Britain Hit & Run Charged As An Adult

New Britain Chief of Police Christopher Chute
Tyler Russell/Connecticut Public
Connecticut Public
The corner of East and Belden streets in New Britain on July 14, 2021, the location of an incident where a civilian chased a juvenile in a stolen car resulting in a crash and the death of a bystander.

The 17-year-old suspect at the center of the fatal New Britain hit and run case from this summer was arraigned Tuesday. It comes just a week after the man who police say was chasing him was arraigned for his alleged role in the fatal crash.

Luis Pagan-Gonzalez, 17, pleaded not guilty to charges of felony assault, felony larceny and reckless endangerment in New Britain court Tuesday.

Connecticut Public is naming Pagan-Gonzalez because he is being charged as an adult and his identity is public.

Police say Pagan-Gonzalez was behind the wheel of a stolen Audi when he mowed down 53-year-old Henryk Gudelski in New Britain back in June. Surveillance video shows the 17-year-old running away after the crash.

According to the arrest warrant application, police found Pagan-Gonzalez hiding in a closet at home. The 17-year-old told police he was speeding because he was being chased by another driver.

That driver, Ben Jones, III, told police he chased the 17-year-old for 11 miles because he allegedly stole his wallet. Jones was charged with reckless driving and reckless endangerment last week and pleaded not guilty.

Pagan-Gonzalez is being held at the Manson Youth Institute on $750,000 bond.

Walter Smith Randolph is the Investigative Editor and Director of The Accountability Project at Connecticut Public Broadcasting. The New York City native comes to CT Public after a decade of reporting at local tv stations across the country.
Jacqueline Rabe Thomas was an investigative reporter with Connecticut Public’s Accountability Project from July 2021 until August 2022.