By Andreas Yilma Citizen’s News
NAUGATUCK — A borough resident is in critical condition after he confronted a burglar who tried to break into his truck in the early hours of Tuesday morning on Alma Street.
Naugatuck police were dispatched to the area around 4:40 a.m. for a person who was struck by a vehicle. Officers arrived to the scene where Joel “Brandon” Guth, 42, was hit by a black car after he confronted a suspect who tried to break into his truck.
Evidence suggests that Guth was struck intentionally, Police Chief Colin McAllister said
Guth was transported to Waterbury Hospital where he remains in critical condition, McAllister said Wednesday.
Naugatuck police with the assistance of Naugatuck Valley Collision Investigation Team and detectives from the Connecticut State Police Major Crime Squad recovered and processed evidence on Tuesday.
The black vehicle was recovered in another town but police did not disclose the make and model or which town.
“We believe the vehicle is consistent with this investigation,” McAllister said.
Several car break-ins occurred in the same time frame in the borough that morning, police said.
McAllister said the incident may have involved at least two suspects but couldn’t say how many or if they are juveniles. “We have no information on that at this point if they’re juveniles,” he said.
The community has been providing a large amount of residential video footage and police continue to process it, McAllister said.
Guth’s family said they are thankful for the community and ask anyone with knowledge of the incident to come forward with information.
“We just want to let them know Brandon is hardworking person just like them and he’s a member of the community, he’s a business owner. He’s just a hardworking normal person. His truck was like his livelihood. He had his tools in there. He has his own business,” Guth’s sister, Cassidy Mucherino said. “Of course he was going to run out and try to see who is breaking in his truck and try to protect his livelihood and his job.”
Guth’s girlfriend and brother, who both didn’t disclose their full names, described Guth as a generous man.
Guth’s girlfriend, who lives with Guth and was as home at the time, said his business is centered around landscaping, excavation, masonry and other things.
Guth’s girlfriend said the contributions are greatly appreciated as Guth doesn’t have health insurance.
A GoFundMe page for Guth has collected $7,500 as of Wednesday evening with a goal of $50,000.
“Right now he’s stable but by stable, I mean he’s kept alive by modern technology. He’s intubated. He had emergency surgery,” Guth’s girlfriend said. “They had to remove part of his skull to expose his brain so the swelling could go down.”
McAllister said the borough is one of a series of communities that has invested in license plate readers or LPR technology as a proactive measure taken to try to reduce car break-ins.
“There is a strong likelihood that someone has direct knowledge of who is responsible for this criminal act. To those individuals, we appeal to your good nature to come forward with information on who is responsible for this incident,” McAllister said. “To those who are responsible for this crime, we urge you to come forward and accept responsibility for your actions.’
Anyone who may have footage of car break-ins, general information, or tips that could lead to the apprehension of the suspects is urged to contact Naugatuck Police at 203-729-5221 or the NPD confidential tip line at 203-720-1010.