June 14--EAST HAVEN -- Police Officer Vincent Ferrara was en-route to New Haven earlier this week to tend to a court hearing regarding the arrest of an all-terrain vehicle rider when he heard radio reports that other riders were speeding up Foxon Road and throughout the center of town.
"As I returned from court traveling east on Frontage Road, I observed a red pickup truck which was loaded with three off-road dirt bikes and one quad," he later wrote in his case report.
After stopping the truck on Forbes Place, Ferrara placed the driver, 18-year-old Dodge Avenue resident Angel Alvarado, under arrest for driving without insurance and driving with a suspended license. The pickup truck's owner, 36-year-old William Alvarado, was also arrested. Ferrara's report states that while William Alvarado was not with Angel Alvarado at the time, he was nonetheless charged with failure to maintain insurance.
"William Alvarado could not provide insurance information for his vehicle," Ferrara wrote. "Sgt. Nicholas Kattis attempted to verify the insurance from a phone number on the expired card Alvarado provided from Omni Insurance. Omni Insurance informed Sgt. Kattis that there is no active policy for the vehicle."
It's unclear whether the ATVs perched in the back of Alvarado's pickup truck were the same ones spotted zooming around town earlier.
Tuesday's arrests came on the heels of last month's announcement of a new multi-jurisdictional tip line aimed at cracking down on ATV riders who illegally speed up and down town streets. Along with East Haven, police departments in New Haven, Branford, West Haven, North Haven, North Branford and Hamden are part of the initiative.
On Friday, Sgt. Joseph Murgo noted that police did not seize the all-terrain vehicles stowed in the back of Alvarado's truck but added that police know the owners and will be able to identify the three bikes and the quad if they happen to be driven illegally on town streets.
Police Chief Brent Larrabee released a prepared statement Thursday praising the latest enforcement efforts.
"On behalf of (Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr.) and myself, I would like to commend the officers who stopped a pickup truck on Kimberly and Forbes -- in particular, Officer Vincent Ferrara," Larrabee stated.
Ferrara wrote in his report that residents have been phoning in numerous complaints "regarding off-road vehicles riding on the town and state roads performing dangerous stunts.
"These vehicles often refuel at the town gas stations either while be operated or while loaded on utility trailers and in trucks."
On the same day authorities announced the new tip line, an anonymous East Haven resident launched a Facebook page named "Take Back East Haven" urging witnesses to post photos and other information that could be used to help identify and prosecute illegal riding.
Witnesses can call the tip line at 203-946-6098.
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