Former Northampton police officer Brett Morgan seriously injured after being struck, dragged by stolen car

Last modified: Thursday, January 23, 2014
NORTHAMPTON — A former Northampton police officer remains in intensive care in a trauma center after he was run over by a driver in a stolen car that dragged him about 100 feet in New Britain, Conn., Sunday night, according to that city’s police department.

New Britain Police Officer Brett T. Morgan, 28, was seriously injured in the incident and arrest warrants have been issued for 19-year-old Jaheem Snype of New Britain, charging him with attempted murder, first-degree assault and assault on a police officer, according to the New Britain Herald. A fund also has been set up to help Morgan and his family.

Morgan worked for the Northampton Police Department for two years before being hired by the New Britain Police Department in March 2013. He was described by his former colleagues as a dedicated, respected and hardworking officer.

“He was a very productive guy, very friendly and got along with everybody,” said Northampton Detective Lt. Jody Kasper, who was Morgan’s supervisor on the midnight shift. “We were sad to see him go.”

Capt. Joseph W. Koncas issued a statement Wednesday on behalf of the Northampton Police Department.

“The department is deeply saddened by his injury and wishes him a full and rapid recovery. Our hearts go out to him and his loved ones,” the statement read. “Although Chief (Russell) Sienkiewicz is away, he is aware of this tragic situation and his thoughts go out to Officer Morgan and his family, wishing him a speedy recovery.”

Kasper said some Northampton police officers have visited Morgan in the hospital. New Britain Police Chief James Wardwell said Morgan underwent about nine hours of surgery on Monday and there are likely more surgeries to come.

“He’s doing remarkably well,” Wardwell said shortly after visiting with Morgan on Wednesday morning.

Wardwell said Morgan was one of 120 applicants for positions in the New Britain Police Department and “among the best” of the 18 officers he hired.

According to New Britain police, Morgan saw a sedan in a parking lot about 25 minutes after it was reported stolen late Sunday night. While investigating, he was hit by the car, run over and dragged into the street, where he was found seriously injured by his fellow officers a few minutes later, according to a report in the New Britain Herald. The sedan was found the following day in another part of the city.

Snype, the suspect in the case, had been in a diversionary court rehabilitation program in connection with a third-degree larceny charge that involved a stolen vehicle in November 2012, according to the Herald’s report.

Wardwell on Wednesday declined to say how police connected Snype to the stolen vehicle that struck Morgan. “Certainly we’ve identified him through investigation,” Wardwell said.

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating Snype, whose last known address is 259 Grove St. 1S in New Britain. He is considered dangerous and should not be approached, according to police. Anyone with information should call 860-826-3199 and anonymous tips can be made to a tip line at 860-826-3199.

The New Britain Police Department and police union have established the Brett Morgan Benefit Fund help Morgan and his family with expenses. Anyone wishing to donate to the fund can do so at any TD Bank branch by asking to make a contribution to the fund c/o Robert Martin, New Britain Police Department.

Donations can also be mailed to the New Britain Police Department, Brett Morgan Benefit Fund, 10 Chestnut St., New Britain, CT 06051. Checks should be made payable to the Brett Morgan Benefit Fund.

Dan Crowley can be reached at dcrowley@gazettenet.com.