NEWINGTON, Conn. – A police officer was dragged by a car after struggling with a theft suspect over a gun. Police in Connecticut were on the lookout Wednesday for a driver accused of dragging an officer for nearly 150 yards. His goal was to complete the getaway with a theft of beer and perhaps charges related to a firearm.

Newington police on Saturday were responding to a midday shoplifting report after a Best Market employee saw a man and woman leave with $190 worth of beer. The man took off in a green Honda Civic before the police arrived. He has been identified as 37-year-old Joshua Coonradt, Fox 61 reported.

Officer dragged by car

When police later saw the car traveling east towards Wethersfield, the officer pulled the suspect over. But as he approached, he saw the driver reaching for a handgun on the dashboard.

The officer and driver engaged in a struggle. However, the suspect eventually sped off. As reported, the officer was dragged by the car for about 150 yards before he could free himself. The unnamed officer received minor injuries.


“Its kind of harrowing because you wonder if they’re willing at all costs like that to get away just over some beer, then you know maybe there’s something more,” Newington resident David Muir said. “Especially when it comes to an officer of the law, they’re here to help us not get dragged down the street.”

Vehicle located, cohort arrested

Police located the suspect’s car, and arrested the woman spotted leaving with the man. The woman, 31-year-old Sandra Weeks, said Coonradt often went to a particular spot in Hartford to buy crack, and slept in his car nearby.

The suspect is known to police to sell stolen goods at a local bodega. Weeks told police the man was responsible for several larcenies in Hartford that happened on Friday, possibly of a Rite Aid and CVS.

Weeks was charged with sixth-degree larceny and released on a $5,000 bail.

Newington is about 8 miles south of downtown Hartford.

Coonradt is still outstanding. Police ask anyone with information to call Sgt. Brendan Moon at (860) 594-6246 or bmoon@newingtonct.gov.