Torrington Man Charged with Assaulting 5 Federal Officers with His Car in Bridgeport
Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury in Bridgeport has returned an indictment charging DENNIS LEE WAITERS, 32, of Torrington, with assaulting five federal law enforcement officers.
The indictment was returned on October 5 and Waiters was arrested today. He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge S. Dave Vatti in Bridgeport and is detained pending a detention hearing that is scheduled for October 31.
As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, on June 15, 2021, members of the FBI’s Bridgeport Safe Streets Task Force and Bridgeport Police Department investigating gang-related violence and the potential for a retaliation shooting attempted to stop a car Waiters was driving in Bridgeport. The law enforcement vehicles had activated their lights and sirens, and officers exiting the vehicles wore vests bearing the letters “FBI” and “POLICE.” Instead of stopping, Waiters drove into the federal law enforcement officers and their vehicles, crashing into three different law enforcement officers’ vehicles and into a civilian motorist. One officer fired into Waiters’ car as it headed toward the officer, causing the car to veer into another law enforcement vehicle and, ultimately, to crash into a pole. When Waiters’ car stopped, a passenger in the car attempted to flee the scene, leaving behind a semiautomatic pistol in the car, but was apprehended.
The indictment charges Waiters with assaulting, resisting, or impeding federal officers, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Kale.