First court appearance in Bridgeport for Hummer driver in viral video
The Brookfield woman accused of ramming her Hummer into a police cruiser, then leading officers on a multi-town chase that put seven officers in the hospital, appeared in court in Bridgeport for the first time.
Hannah Casperson was arraigned in the case back on April 4 but from her hospital room due to injuries she sustained in the chase. Casperson is charged with seven counts of assault on a police officer.
“We're still looking over some discovery. We've got a lot of bodycam footage to review,” said Casperson’s attorney, Dan Thibodeau.
Some of that video from April 3 went viral after being released by Waterbury police. It shows an officer walking up to her white Hummer after horizontally parking his cruiser to block her in at a dead-end street. Casperson was wanted in connection to 41 car break-ins in Wolcott. In the body camera footage, the officer tries to open her car door, which appears to be locked, then says to Casperson, "I got the street blocked. You're not going anywhere." The SUV takes off anyway, then slams into the officer's car, driving up on the side of it. The officer draws his gun and can be heard shouting multiple times to stop, but the driver continues to crash into the cruiser until there's room to get through, then takes off with the tires squealing.
Police said Casperson went on to hit another cruiser in Waterbury, then led officers on a pursuit that ended in Monroe. Police said she slammed into seven police cars there before she rolled her Hummer and hit a utility pole. She was arrested and taken to St. Vincent’s Medical Center for a broken leg and dislocated hip. In court Monday, she appeared to be healed from those injuries.
“She's much better—from now until when she was arrested,” Thibodeau said. “She's clear minded. She's got her color back. She looks good.”
Thibodeau said addiction issues are what led to Casperson’s problems. She’s facing charges out of Waterbury Superior Court as well in connection to the chase including, assault on a police officer, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, and motor vehicle offenses. Casperson also has several pending cases in Waterbury for conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit larceny, and conspiracy to commit criminal mischief. Police said Casperson and Thomas Crawford went on a crime spree to feed their habit prior to their arrests. Crawford was taken into custody two days before Casperson.
Thibodeau told News 12 the focus right now is getting Casperson into rehab. He said he’s working to get the different jurisdictions on the same page with what’s next for her.
“We’re trying to find a place that will accept her into a long-term facility while the case is still pending to try to work out a better plea deal for her,” Thibodeau said.
All seven officers injured in the chase have returned to work and are doing well, according to Waterbury police. They initially estimated repairs on the vehicles would cost $135,000 but told News 12 some work is still being done so there is not a final total yet for the damage.