DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Connecticut

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Deirdre M. Daly
, United States Attorney
Contact: Tom Carson

Bridgeport Man Sentenced to Prison for Ramming Law Enforcement Vehicle and Injuring ATF Agent

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that BERNARD PETTWAY, 39, of Bridgeport, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford to 12 months and one day of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for ramming a law enforcement vehicle and injuring an ATF special agent.

This matter stems from “Operation Samson,” a multi-layered initiative headed by the ATF and the Bridgeport and New Haven Police Departments that targeted violent criminals, illegal firearm possession and firearm trafficking. In the spring of 2014, approximately 40 ATF special agents and personnel from Connecticut and across the country were deployed with New Haven and Bridgeport Police to conduct numerous covert operations.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between April and June 2014, investigators made three controlled purchases of crack cocaine from PETTWAY. On June 16, 2014, an individual working with law enforcement called PETTWAY and placed an order for crack cocaine. PETTWAY arranged to meet the drug purchaser at a location on Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport. After PETTWAY arrived at the meeting location, Bridgeport Police officers exited a marked car and approached his vehicle. PETTWAY then attempted to evade law enforcement and drove away at a high rate of speed. A Bridgeport Police officer and an ATF special agent who were in an unmarked vehicle nearby attempted to block PETTWAY’s escape by positioning their car to partially block the roadway. PETTWAY then rammed into the back end of the unmarked vehicle, spinning it approximately 90 degrees and rendering it inoperable, and fled the scene. He was apprehended later that day.

The ATF special agent suffered back and neck injuries and was taken to the hospital.

After his arrest, PETTWAY assisted law enforcement in the recovery of an illegal firearm.

On October 22, 2014, PETTWAY pleaded guilty to one count of assaulting a federal agent with a dangerous weapon.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Kale.

Boston Field Division