December 13, 2023
A police officer is recovering after two men who are suspected in a home invasion in Torrington last week hit him with a stolen car and then tried to steal his police vehicle, according to police.
The police department received a call on Friday around 7:15 p.m. from someone who reported that two men wearing ski masks entered his garage on Notting Hill Gate while the homeowner, his in-laws and his 3-year-old child were inside.
While inside the garage, the two men, later identified as Elijah Volpe and Frantz Menard, grabbed a hammer and a large wrench that were hanging in the garage, according to a police report.
The men then threatened the homeowner and his father-in-law saying, “How do you want to die tonight?” and moved toward them, according to the police report.
Volpe and Menard then left the garage and drove away in what authorities said was a stolen Chevrolet Suburban.
After the incident, officers responded to the area. Dispatchers informed the responding officers about the report of the men entering the garage of the home and gave details about the Chevrolet Suburban they had arrived in. The vehicle’s registration showed it was reported stolen out of Litchfield.
As an officer arrived, a man who was driving south on Hassig Road approached him. The man and his family told police that there was a suspicious man on Chelsea Court and the officer continued heading toward Notting Hill Gate.
On Notting Hill Gate, police said, the officer found a man, later identified as Volpe.
The officer parked his vehicle and attempted. to speak with Volpe, who disobeyed the officer’s commands while walking away, according to police.
As Volpe was walking away, the officer said he saw a vehicle going north on Notting Hill Gate and heard the engine revving and accelerating as it approached him.
According to authorities, the vehicle then turned, crossed the road and headed directly at the officer in an attempt to run him over. The officer tried to get out of the way of the vehicle but was struck on his right side including his lower leg and right knee.
After hitting the officer, the vehicle drove into the front yard of a home and hit a tree. A second man, later identified as Menard, then got out of the Suburban.
The officer drew his service weapon at both men as he told them to get on the ground, but both men continued walking and investigators said Volpe started walking toward the police car.
Authorities said the officer went to his police car, but Volpe had already started getting into the driver’s seat.
The officer and Volpe continued struggling as Volpe tried to put the car in drive, but the officer was able to get the keys out of the car and dropped them, according to police.
During this, the officer said he saw Menard outside of the driver’s side of the police car pacing back and forth. Investigators said Menard then opened the passenger side door of the police car, grabbed onto the shift lever to try and put the vehicle in drive and then attempted to find the keys. Menard was then seen fleeing on foot.
Investigators said the officer later realized Menard had taken the officer’s duty bag and ran off with it. A trooper later found it down the road.
Once another officer arrived, Volpe was removed from the police car and was placed under arrest. He is facing charges including home invasion, threatening, risk of injury, interfering with a police officer and theft of a firearm. He is being held on a $1 million bond and appeared in court on Monday.
As additional officers arrived on the scene, they started searching for Menard. After a lengthy search, he was taken into custody. He is being charged with home invasion, threatening, interfering with a police officer, assault on a public safety officer, theft of a firearm and reckless driving. He was also held on a $1 million and appeared in court on Monday.
After the incident, the officer took himself to the hospital to be treated for his injuries.