Westport Man Who Is Suing Police Officer Arrested on Multiple Charges
A man who is suing a Westport Police officer for injuries suffered during a road block as he attempted to flee police is once again in trouble.
Friday night around 7:20 p.m., Westport Police attempted to stop 31-year-old Derek Pereira of 21 Cleveland Street in Westport. Pereira was known to police from an August 22, 2016 incident where he was on a motorcycle and struck a police cruiser.
On July 7th, police observed Pereira driving a 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, which he abandoned a short distance away after he fled from a detective in an unmarked police vehicle. Pereira was seen running from this SUV across State Road onto Pine Tree Avenue, when a neighbor called police to say he had ran into the woods.
Police believed he was headed to his residence through the wooded area. Police spoke with a neighbor who lived near his residence who recognized him and spoke with as he exited the woods. A Bristol County Sheriff’s Department K9 was called to the scene and searched the area for approximately two hours. The SUV he ran from had stolen registration plates. Police obtained a search warrant for the Jeep Cherokee and located a bill of sale which listed Pereira as the buyer along with personal items belonging to him. Investigators also located surveillance video of Pereira as he exited a convenience store and entered the SUV prior to evading police, along with additional video as he abandoned the SUV and fled on foot across State Road.
The registration plates affixed to the Jeep Cherokee had been stolen a few weeks earlier from another Jeep which had been parked at State Road Auto, located at 851 State Road.
Police encountered Pereira in his driveway on Sunday at approximately 2:15 p.m. He was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle with a revoked driver's license, operating a motor vehicle so as to endanger, failure to stop for police, operating an uninsured vehicle, attaching plates, unregistered vehicle, speeding, possession of stolen property motor vehicle registration plates (felony, subsequent offense), possession of a forged / altered RMV inspection sticker, possession of stolen property (subsequent offense) registry document (inspection sticker), and use of a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony.
Pereira's attorney Howard Freidman filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on his behalf back in May against Westport Police Officer Jarrod Levesque, over what the suit alleges was a dangerous and unauthorized road block used to stop Pereira as he was speeding on his motorcycle away from police back on August 22, 2016. His license had been suspended and the motorcycle was not registered or insured. Pereira collided with Officer Levesque's police SUV and he suffered injuries that led to hospital bills of over $100,000.