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NY man arrested after chase through New London, Ledyard, and Groton

It started when police received reports of an intoxicated driver was getting off the Cross Sound Ferry in New London.
Credit: WTOL 11

LEDYARD, Conn. — A Long Island man is in custody after nearly striking police officers in two shoreline towns. The incident ended when one department put out stop sticks to bring him to a halt Thursday afternoon. 

Ledyard police said the incident started in New London when officers attempted to stop the driver of a Chevrolet pickup towing a trailer who was reportedly intoxicated as he was disembarking from the Cross Sound Ferry

Police said the driver sped up, nearly striking the officers and others in the area. 

A short time later, Ledyard officers spotted the truck on Route 117. They attempted a traffic stop on Worf Ridge Gap, a cul-de-sac. The driver again sped up, nearly striking officers, and took off at high speed with police following. 

The driver went south on Colonel Ledyard Highway eventually heading to Interstate 95. Several towns joined the chase, and eventually, the pickup continued through Groton Center and onto Poquonnock Road.

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Ledyard Police deployed stop sticks and the pickup was brought to a stop on Mirra Drive in Groton, where the driver was taken into custody by Ledyard Police without further incident. 

Robert Lechner, 55, of Greenport New York was charged with Criminal Attempt to Commit Assault First Degree, Criminal Attempt to Commit Assault on a Peace Officer, Reckless Driving, and Engaging Police in Pursuit.  He was held by Ledyard Police on a $150,000 bond. 

Lechner is also wanted by Mohegan Tribal Police on a warrant for Larceny First Degree. He will also face additional charges from Groton City, Groton Town and New London Police based on the events in New London and Groton. 

Doug Stewart is the Senior Digital Content Producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.

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