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Tuesday, April 24 News

Fairfield cops say officer was not pursuing motorcyclist before fatal crash

Although State Police are investigating Sunday's motorcycle crash that killed a 19-year-old Bridgeport resident on North Avenue near the Fairfield border, Fairfield police do not believe one of their officers was pursuing the man prior to the crash.

"Based on our current information, it is our belief that the officer did not engage the motorcyclist in a pursuit," Deputy Police Chief Chris Lyddy said.

Fairfield police contend that the officer, while parked near Kings Highway East and Jennings Road, noticed a motorcycle -- driven by Arthur De Andrade Leao -- pull out of the Nutmeg Bowl parking lot not long before 2:30 a.m. Sunday. The motorcycle had no registration plate, according to the report. The officer activated his cruiser's lights and sirens to pull over the motorcyclist, but Leao sped off, police officials said.

When the officer caught up, he came upon the scene where Leao had crashed into a light pole on North Avenue, near Mountain Grove Cemetery in Bridgeport, according to the report.

"The motorcycle was out of sight before the officer could get started," Lyddy said. Police have not identified the officer in question.

Leao did not have a motorcycle license and borrowed the motorcycle from his brother, police said. He died from internal injuries after being transported to Bridgeport Hospital.

According to State Police, Leao, a resident of Smith Street in Bridgeport, failed to negotiate a curve in the road and lost control of the Yamaha motorcycle, which was totaled in the crash. He also, apparently, had his brother's identification in his possession at the time.

Lyddy said the officer involved has resumed normal patrol duties.

In addition to the State Police investigation, Lyddy said Fairfield police officials are conducting an administrative inquiry of their own by the office of professional standards. "This type of inquiry is standard protocol," Lyddy said.