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Police: Minivan Almost Hits Officer, Driver Arrested

Darien police arrest a minivan driver who they say almost hit one police officer and sped away from another at a street construction site.

The driver of a minivan almost hit a police officer, who had to jump out of the way at a downtown street excavation site, said Darien police, who later arrested the driver.

William Henneberry, 33, of Norwalk, who police say was the driver, later was arrested in connection with the incident.

Police gave this account of the incident and arrest:

On Monday, Nov. 19, two uniformed officers were on special duty at a construction site at the intersection of the Post Road and Leroy Avenue. A new gas line was being installed there.

The right lane for eastbound traffic (driving in the direction of the railroad overpass) was closed off, and the closure was properly marked with warning signs and cones.

'Had to jump backward'

At about 12:30 p.m., one officer stopped a vehicle traveling eastbound on the Post Road. The officer then saw a silver or gray Toyota Sienna minivan try to drive around the vehicle the officer had stopped. While doing this, the minivan driver was honking his horn.

The officer then gestured for the minivan to stop and approached it to try to speak to the driver, but the operator ignored the officer and abruptly sped off, eastward on the Post Road.

As the minivan sped off, the officer had to jump backward to avoid getting struck by the vehicle.

The officer then yelled to his partner, who was a few hundred feet away, and that officer raised both hands, signalling the driver to stop. Instead, the minivan drove around the officer and quickly sped up Leroy Avenue.

Investigation leads to arrest

"Through information supplied by a Darien officer who had had prior dealings with Henneberry, he became the target of the investigation," police said in a news release.

Police found out that Henneberry's mother owned a 2008 Toyota Sienna minivan and that Henneberry worked for a business located in nearby Thorndal Circle. Police identified the minivan in the company's parking lot and identified Henneberry from previous mug shots police have on file.

Police tried to contact Henneberry, including by leaving phone messages with his employer's receptionist, but never heard back from him. They then applied for and received an arrest warrant charging him with second-degree reckless endangerment, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and two counts of disobeying the signal of an officer.

On Monday, Dec. 3, an officer who recognized Henneberry saw him driving into the parking lot of Darien Library, which is next to Darien Police Department headquarters.

Henneberry was arrested and posted a $5,000 bond pending an appearance Dec. 13 in state Superior Court in Stamford.

Editor's note: This article originally was published on Monday. The time stamp has been changed for layout purposes on the Home page of Darien Patch.

Cath December 10, 2012 at 05:41 PM
A lot of police officers around here feel the need to block the road when pulling someone over (as opposed to having people pull all the way to the right). Also, a lot of them wave you on in construction sites, without stepping out of the way. And thirdly, half of the police officers are in the road not even paying attention to passing cars because they are chatting with the other officers.
Bryan December 10, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Cath, your comments have nothing to do with this incident. It is obvious that this,,,"person" was trying to either hit the officers or scare them with his vehicle. If you have a specific complaint then the police department is the place to make it. But making a general statement about all officers working extra hours protecting the workers in the roadways is wrong. You wouldn't want officers to make generalize statements about you, would you?
Henry December 10, 2012 at 08:30 PM
I have witnessed on almost every occasion that Darien PD are on site in the road for traffic situations they are not looking at traffic rather they are TEXTING on their phones while they are supposed to be directing/guiding traffic. This is not an isolated incident. Darien PD text more than school girls while in uniform and while on the job.
sebastian dangerfield December 10, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Bryan , May I ask your opinion on the officer (anderson) who killed 2 Orange teenagers , while attempting to drag race with another officer, a couple of years ago?
David Gurliacci (Editor) December 10, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Henry, in this case, the officer was not only paying a lot of attention, but there was a driver who witnessed the incident and agreed to submit a statement to police about it. The driver said Henneberry was swerving in and out of traffic and honking on his horn before he ever saw the police officers. The driver also said Henneberry sped up near the first officer then swerved to avoid the second one. Both officers were trying to stop Henneberry, according to this driver. I'll have an update at some point with more details from the arrest warrant affidavit, which I saw today.
John December 11, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I love these negative comments about the Darien Police lately. They are working extra hours on construction sites for their families. They get condemmed because they are helping a cab driver "working hard" and being treated attrociously by a drunk. In short, show some respect and get to "work harder yourselves" and you will understand a little more.
John December 11, 2012 at 06:45 PM
I have lived here all my life and if you want to spend a couple of hours with me, I can introduce you to any officer on the force and you can learn something about them. Their hours,their discipline, their patience,their intelligence. When I was a kid, they helped me learn how to be responsible. Maybe I can help you learn something real. 655 6985...call me or continue to be ignorant back stabbers....one day they will help you..John
Rich December 11, 2012 at 07:08 PM
John, I don't disgree with your post, the Patrol officers do a fantastic job. I do believe they they ignored the other side of the Jennings case, and that is partially why the case was dropped. I think both the cabbie and his passenger share blame for what happened. FYI a town car from NYC to Dairen runs $115, I take them occassionaly for work.
Rich December 11, 2012 at 07:18 PM
"They" was directed at the detective's.

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