Firefighters extinguish Jeep fire, mask dispute leads to arrest …

Monroe and Stevenson firefighters extinguish a Jeep fire. Photos taken from the Monroe Volunteer Fire Department No. 1 Facebook page.

MONROE, CT — A 46-year-old Craig Drive man got out of his 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo safely before it caught fire in his driveway late Tuesday morning. Firefighters from Monroe and Stevenson extinguished the fire, preventing it from spreading.

Police said the man’s daughter told him warning lights in the dash came on and the battery light was blinking the night before, when she parked it in their driveway.

The next morning, just before 11 a.m., police said the man took the Jeep for a ride around the block to see what was wrong with it. After parking in his driveway, he told officers he looked back at it a few minutes later and it was in flames.

When police and firefighters arrived the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames, according to the report.

Police said the fire did not appear suspicious and no one was hurt.

Mask dispute, warrant arrest

Thomaston police picked up a Bronx, N.Y., man on a Monroe arrest warrant Wednesday, stemming from charges over a dispute at Subway, 640 Main St. on November 24, 2021.

Samuel Bender, 25, was charged with third-degree assault, second-degree breach of peace and third-degree criminal mischief. He was held on $10,000 bond and taken to court on Wednesday morning.

On the date of the incident, Bender and a female companion tried to order food at the store when a female employee asked them to wear a face mask, which was store policy at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Police said Bender refused and demanded that the employee serve them.

The female customer left the store without issue. After a brief argument, police said Bender allegedly kicked over a cardboard billboard sign by the door.

The employee followed him outside, where Bender nearly hit her with his vehicle in the parking lot as he backed up, according to the report. Then police said he opened his window and threw a can of soda at the employee, hitting her with it.

Police said officers were able to identify Bender using information from the rental car he was driving.

Shoplifting arrest

A 46-year-old Hartford man was picked up at Hartford Correctional Facility and processed on a Monroe arrest warrant before being turned back over to marshals Wednesday.

The arrest stems from a shoplifting incident at Lakeside Wine and Liquor, 236 Roosevelt Drive, on October 22, 2022.

Police said the man allegedly entered to the store with male and female accomplices at 5:14 p.m. They allegedly distracted the clerk while the man took a bottle of Patron from a display and tried to buy it.

After failing to complete the purchase with the credit card several times, police said the man pulled the Patron from the clerk and ran out of the store with his companions, where a getaway driver picked them up.

The store clerk got the registration of the blue Chevy Suburban they were in and officers were able to identify the suspect.

Parole violation

Monroe police arrested a 54-year-old Danbury man for an alleged parole violation and turned him over to his parole officer Monday morning.

Police received a complaint about a man appearing to nod off several times inside the Henny Penny on Route 34 at approximately 10:29 a.m. When officers were en route, he left the store and got into the driver’s side of his car.

Police said the man passed out several times when officers were speaking to him. A background check found he was in violation of his parole, not having reported to his parole officer in weeks, the report said.

He was taken to a hospital for medical treatment, then turned over to his parole officer.

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