Police: Parolee nabbed with loaded gun following high-speed chase

Fairfield County Courthouse on Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport, Conn.

Fairfield County Courthouse on Golden Hill Street, Bridgeport, Conn.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

BRIDGEPORT — A local man, on parole for a gun conviction, was arrested on new gun charges after police said he led them on a high-speed chase Saturday.

Giovanni Candelario, 27, of Davis Avenue, was charged with criminal possession of a firearm, illegally possessing a firearm in a motor vehicle, carrying a pistol without a permit, altering a firearm’s serial number and reckless driving.

“The defendant has a serious record, and these are new serious charges,” Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Tiffany Lockshier said during Candelario’s arraignment Monday afternoon.

Superior Court Judge Kevin Doyle agreed and ordered Candelario held in lieu of $250,000 bond. He continued the case to March 5.

According to state police, just after 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Trooper Matthew Losh was patrolling Route 8 southbound when an Acura sedan with tinted windows passed him at high speed, weaving in and out of traffic.

The trooper accelerated in an effort to catch the Acura and ended up pursuing it at speeds exceeding 110 miles per hour, state police said.

The pursuit continued onto Interstate 95 where the Acura slowed down and finally came to a stop by Exit 26, state police said.

State police said the driver of the Acura, later identified as Candelario, rolled down the window and told the trooper he was on his way home from Ansonia and had not realized he had been speeding. Candelario was unable to provide either a driver’s license or registration for the car, police said.

Candelario got out of the car and the trooper noticed the butt of a handgun sticking out of his waistband, state police said. They said it turned out to be a loaded, .357-caliber pistol with an obliterated serial number.

State police said Candelario claimed he had just found the gun and had taken it for safe keeping.

In January 2019, Candelario was convicted in Superior Court of illegal gun possession charges and sentenced to three and a half years in prison. In 2015, according to court records, he was convicted in federal court of gun charges and sentenced to 57 months in prison.