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East Hartford police arrest man seen slamming pickup truck into car in wild video

East Hartford police arrested James Nasiatka, 55, after a man was seen in a widely shared Facebook video shouting obscenities and reversing his pickup truck into a car parked on Columbus Boulevard in East Hartford.
East Hartford police arrested James Nasiatka, 55, after a man was seen in a widely shared Facebook video shouting obscenities and reversing his pickup truck into a car parked on Columbus Boulevard in East Hartford.

East Hartford police arrested a man shown in a widely circulated video slamming his pickup truck into another car and pushing it back about 100 feet as the tires of both the truck and the unoccupied sedan smoke and streak the roadway.

The driver, James Nasiatka, 55, of Enfield, was arrested shortly after the incident, which happened Monday at 5:40 p.m. at Connecticut Boulevard and Prospect Street. He faces charges that include first-degree reckless endangerment, first-degree criminal mischief and evading responsibility.

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A South Windsor woman said she recorded Nasiatka spewing obscenities at her for no reason and later totaling the Acura TSX that she and her boyfriend had been fixing up. Aliana, who asked that her last name not be used, said Wednesday that she was still in shock.

This screenshot from a video widely shared on Facebook shows James Nasiatka, 55, reversing his pickup truck into a car parked on Columbus Boulevard in East Hartford. He was arrested shortly after.
This screenshot from a video widely shared on Facebook shows James Nasiatka, 55, reversing his pickup truck into a car parked on Columbus Boulevard in East Hartford. He was arrested shortly after.

The incident that led to the confrontation started in South Windsor. Town police spokesman Sgt. Mark Cleverdon said officers received a breach of peace complaint Monday. Cleverdon would not discuss details of that incident, but said police have taken statements and are reviewing surveillance footage and will determine if charges will be filed against Nasiatka.

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East Hartford investigators reported that the dispute in South Windsor started outside a medical marijuana dispensary, police spokesman Lt. Josh Litwin said. The video shared on Facebook is split between a verbal confrontation in South Windsor and the collision in East Hartford, Litwin said.

Shared hundreds of times, the video shows Nasiatka swearing at a woman inside the vehicle in South Windsor. Nasiatka told police that the woman and a man who was with her followed him into East Hartford, Litwin said.

Aliana, 21, said her boyfriend had gone into Eastern Chinese Restaurant on John Fitch Boulevard next to the dispensary. She was waiting in the car with the windows rolled up and speaking with her mother on the phone when a man, later identified as Nasiatka, approached the car and stared at her through the window, she said.

She said she asked the man what he was doing and said, “It’s a little weird that you’re just staring at me,” Aliana said. The man then “went off,” she said.

Aliana said she and her boyfriend did not follow the pickup truck driver, but spotted him at a red light in East Hartford. Her boyfriend got out, walked up to the truck and punched the passenger side window once, she said.

She got out of the car only seconds before the pickup truck driver slammed into the 2004 Acura. The car, she said, was a total loss.

Nasiatka could not be reached.

“Thankfully, there were no physical injuries,” Litwin said.

Police found Nasiatka at his home in Enfield and arrested him without incident, Litwin said. He was released without having to post bail and is due back in court on Sept. 2, according to the state judicial website.

Jesse Leavenworth can be reached at jleavenworth@courant.com

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