A police officer saw a man on a black 2015 Vespa scooter fail to stop for a red light, and then another red light, then swerve toward oncoming traffic twice at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday in downtown Darien, police said.
The rider not only was intoxicated, police said: He was also wanted by police in Florida on charges of violating probation and driving while under the influence — and the police there wanted to extradite him.
Police described the incident with this account, including accusations not proven in court:
The officer saw the scooter fail to stop for lights on the Post Road at its intersections with Tokeneke Road and Center Street. The Vespa was stopped at the intersection of the Post Road and Duffy’s Lane, about a mile and a half to the west.
The officer saw the driver, 37-year-old Julian Santa of Norwalk, wasn’t wearing eye protection, as the law requires. The officer also smelled an alcoholic beverage on the breath of the man, whose eyes were glassy and red.
The rider didn’t perform field sobriety tests acceptably, so he was arrested on a charge of driving while under the influence. The scooter was removed by a towing business, and Santa was removed by the officer to Police Headquarters.
Santa, who told police he lives on Finley Street in Norwalk, refused to take breath tests and declined to contact an attorney. In addition to the charges of DUI and failure to wear eye protection, he was also charged with driving without a license and failure to obey traffic signals.
Police found that the Sheriff’s Office of Osceola County, Florida (just south of Orlando) has a warrant for Santa’s arrest, and police confirmed that the Sheriff’s Office wants to extradite Santa. Santa admitted to Darien police that he had been arrested on the DUI charge in Florida earlier this year.
Santa was held over the weekend on bonds of $25,000 on the Darien charges and $250,000 for the Florida felony extradition request. He was taken to state Superior Court in Stamford on Monday, June 26, where the bond for the Florida extradition request was reduced to $50,000, according to the Connecticut Judicial Branch website.
He didn’t pay either bond and remained in jail as of Thursday morning, according to the website.
In other, unrelated news:
Seven motor vehicle collisions were investigated during the week, police said. Four were property damage only, one had a minor injury, and three reports are still in the report submission process. None of the remaining three had any serious injury, if any injury at all.