Hannah Casperson is a Connecticut woman arrested after police say she rammed a Hummer into several police vehicles during a chase in Waterbury and Monroe. Wild video, which you can watch above, shows the start of the pursuit in Waterbury. The video, from a Waterbury officer’s body camera video, shows Casperson driving the Hummer into the officer’s SUV, which he had used to block off the end of a dead-end road on Sunday, April 3, 2022. Casperson was wanted on burglary and larceny charges and a probation violation, officials said at an April 4 press conference.
According to police, Casperson, 25, of Brookfield, then fled from the officer and was chased into Monroe. During the pursuit, Casperson crashed into several Waterbury and Monroe police vehicles. Seven officers were injured, none with life-threatening wounds, and Casperson was also injured when she crashed. Casperson is facing several new charges, along with what she was wanted on before the chase, officials said. It was not immediately clear if Casperson has hired an attorney who could comment on her behalf. Police said the Hummer is owned by one of Casperson’s family members.
Waterbury Police Chief Fernando C. Spagnolo said at a press conference, “This is a terrible situation that we just had to deal with her at the police department. I think that all the officers involved did a spectacular job. As you can see from the body camera footage, there came a point in time where that officer’s life was in jeopardy, he feared for his life, he drew his weapon and he had the fortitude and he had the stamina not to use deadly physical force although he was faced with deadly physical force and I commend that officer’s actions.”
The Waterbury Police Officer Told Dispatchers Before the Hummer Blasted Through His SUV That the Street Was ‘Blocked Off’ & There Was ‘No Way Out’
Police said in a press release that the incident happened on April 3, 2022, about 8:45 a.m in the area of Rutledge Street and East Main Street. Another video filmed by a bystander also shows the incident in Waterbury. You can watch that video above.
The video released by Waterbury police shows an unidentified officer, who officials say had stopped to talk to Casperson about recent thefts in the city, walking up to Casperson’s Hummer. In the video, the officer can be heard saying, “I’ve got the street blocked off. No way out.” The officer can be heard also telling Casperson the street was blocked off. In the video, the officer tries to open the door to the white Hummer H2 and the tires can be heard spinning before the driver, identified by police as Casperson, peels out of the dead end.
As the officer runs after the Hummer, he can be heard telling dispatchers, “She’s taking off, but she’s blocked in. … She’s hitting my cruiser, oh my God. She’s ramming my cruiser on Rutledge.” The officer then yells toward Casperson, “Stop, there’s nowhere for you to go! Stop!” He then raises his gun toward the Hummer as she backs up and speeds into the front of the police SUV. Bystanders at a nearby store watch as the officer continues to yell for the Hummer to stop as he points his gun at it. Casperson then backs up the Hummer and speeds around the Hummer, the video shows.
Police said, “Officers attempted to make contact with Casperson who was in the driver’s seat of the vehicle as she then accelerated her vehicle colliding with the police cruiser before fleeing the area and striking another police cruiser at Brass Mill Drive and East Main before entering onto interstate 1-84 westbound.”
The police press release added, “Casperson later lost control of the vehicle and struck a telephone pole in the area of Wheeler Rd and Monroe Turnpike (Route 111) in Monroe, CT. WPD officers took Casperson into police custody at this location and she was transported by ambulance to St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Bridgeport. Casperson has multiple outstanding warrants and additional charges pending. This incident is an active investigation which involves multiple agencies.”
Hannah Casperson Was Charged With 7 Counts of Assault on a Police Officer, Reckless Endangerment & Several Other Charges & Is Being Held on $750,000 Bail
The chase ended about 9:20 a.m. in Monroe, that town’s police department said in a press release. According to police, Hannah Casperson has been charged with seven counts of assault on a public safety officer, three counts of criminal attempt at assault on a public safety officer, first-degree reckless endangerment, interfering with an officer, failure to insure a private vehicle, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to obey a stop sign, improper turn signal, failure to drive in the proper lane, evading responsibility, engaging police in a pursuit, reckless driving and traveling unreasonably fast.
According to Monroe Police, Casperson is being held on $750,000 bond. She was arraigned at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Bridgeport, where she is being treated for injuries suffered in the crash that ended the chase, on April 4, police said. Seven Waterbury police officers were injured and seven Waterbury police vehicles were damaged, Monroe Police said. According to police, Casperson escaped from the Hummer on foot after crashing into the telephone pole before she was taken into custody by Waterbury officers.
Casperson could face additional charges related to the April 3 incident and is also under investigation in Waterbury, Wolcott and Monroe, according to police. Waterbury Police said the damage totals more than $135,000. The officers suffered injuries ranging from lower back and neck strains to wrist and hand contusions and all have been treated and released from area hospitals. Casperson suffered a broken femur and dislocated hip, police said.
Waterbury Police Chief Spagnolo said at the press conference that local police had been searching for Casperson in connection to crimes she was suspected in and had asked for the public’s help in finding her and the white Hummer she was believed to be driving. “A pretty obvious vehicle,” he said. The chief said they received a tip that led the officer to Casperson before the chase.
Casperson Was Previously Convicted of Criminal Mischief After She Was Caught ‘Smashing Up’ a Man’s Car During a Domestic Dispute at a Gas Station
According to Spagnolo, Casperson was wanted for questioning in connection to larceny and theft cases and was also wanted on a probation violation stemming from an arrest and conviction in a 2020 case. Court records show Casperson was convicted of third-degree criminal mischief and second-degree failure to appear in court in November 2021. She was sentenced to six months in jail, with the execution of that sentence suspended (meaning she didn’t have to spend any time in custody) and 18 months of probation. She was then charged with interfering with an officer later in November 2021 and a warrant on a probation violation was issued in January 2022.
The 2020 incident, according to an article from the time in the Danbury News-Times, stemmed from a domestic dispute at a gas station in Southbury. A 911 caller reported a woman, later identified as Casperson, was “smashing up his car,” the newspaper reported. Police then received a call from a woman who was “hysterical and could not provide any information.”
The News-Times wrote, “Around that time, Southbury police spotted a white BMW 320 Xi with damage to its passenger side door, as well as a broken off switch that controls windshield wipers, on Riverhill Road and started to investigate. Casperson was subsequently arrested and charged with third-degree criminal mischief and disorderly conduct.”
Casperson & a Man, Who Was Previously Taken Into Custody, Are Accused of Breaking Into 41 Vehicles in Wolcott Days Before the Chase & Police Say They Have a ‘Significant Drug Problem’
According to Spagnolo, “Hannah Casperson and an accomplice, Thomas Crawford, have been operating in the greater Waterbury for well over a month, engaged in a number of different larcenies, a number of different incidents involving theft, involving property destruction, not only here in Waterbury but in Wolcott and several other towns surrounding the city. On Friday, there was an incident up in Wolcott that Hannah and Thomas were involved in. Crawford was taken into custody at that point, but Casperson got away.”
Spagnolo said Casperson will be facing theft and larceny charges. She is accused in smash-and-grabs of vehicles around Waterbury and of stealing parking meters in the city. Crawford is also facing dozens of charges in connection to the theft and larceny cases. Police said during the incidents in Wolcott, Casperson and Crawford are accused of smashing dozens of vehicle windows to break into locked cars.
“We believe that they both have a significant drug problem,” Spagnolo said about Casperson and Crawford. He said he wasn’t sure about the nature of their relationship. Spagnolo said Casperson underwent surgeries at the hospital after the chase and crash. Spagnolo said Crawford was “honest” about the “crime spree” he and Casperson were on.
Wolcott Police Chief Edward Stephens said at the press conference about Crawford, “When we arrested him he was ready to steal a pile of meat, a bunch of meat was in a carriage at Pat’s IGA. He was ready to go out the door and evidently, Hannah had seen the police coming in and she fled. … We did interview him, he did cooperate, he did say they did it.” Stephens said that they briefly followed Casperson in the Hummer after the grocery store theft incident, but did not engage in a prolonged chase because she wasn’t wanted in a violent crime at that point.