Bloomfield, CT (WFSB) -- A man is accused of stealing a woman’s car while she and others were grieving at a cemetery in Bloomfield, according to police.
Officers arrested 18-year-old Frederick Sowell, of Hartford, after they said he snatched the car, knocked over gravestones with it and struck a 10-year-old girl while trying to flee.
Bloomfield police said they were called to the Mt. St. Benedict Cemetery around 2:45 p.m. Annemarie Rabett, who owned the car, said she tried to detain Sowell after he got into the car, but failed.
Court documents show that Rabett stopped near the cemetery’s office to get water for some flowers and left her friend, 86-year-old Elvira Curti, inside with the keys.
Sowell went into the car with Curti still inside. The frightened woman then threw herself out of the passenger’s side door.
Rabett realized what was happening and ran back to her vehicle. She grabbed onto Sowell through the driver’s side door, which was still open.
Sowell pushed her away and drove off in a southeasterly direction, knocking over gravestones as he fled, according to police.
He also drove towards another group of mourners in the Windsor part of the cemetery and caused them to scatter. That’s when police said he hit the 10-year-old, who was unable to get out of the way.
She was not seriously hurt, but was still transported to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford.
Police said several members of the group followed Sowell in their own vehicles and were able to stop him near Cottage Grove Road.
Sowell was arrested at that point and charged with carjacking, second-degree robbery, first-degree reckless endangerment and second-degree breach of peace. Sowell was arraigned in Hartford Superior Court on Monday and the judge set his surety bond at $500,000.
Family of Sowell said he has bipolar disorder and has been on medicine for it. However, they added he stopped taking his medicine over the past year.
Court officials said Sowell has no prior arrests.
The Windsor Police Department said it was investigating the child being struck as well as the portions of the incident that happened in its town. It also expected to pursue charges.