Man runs from police and reports car stolen

By John Nickerson
STAMFORD — The son of a South Norwalk poverty agency president was arrested on drug possession charges and held on more than a $250,000 after allegedly fleeing from police and falsely reporting that his car was stolen soon after police lost the vehicle during the chase.
Police say Larry Lamar Stephenson, 25, of Wilton fled in his 2003 Jeep Liberty when officers from the Narcotics and Organized Crime squad arrived on Lawn Avenue at about 10:15 p.m. to patrol the troubled neighborhood plagued with drug dealing and calls to police about shots fired, Capt. Richard Conklin said.
Stephenson is the son of Chiquita Stephenson, the acting president of Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, or NEON.
Police followed the jeep with lights and sirens on East Main Street to Elm Street then northbound on Interstate-95 and then southbound on I-95 before they lost sight of the vehicle due to heavy traffic, Conklin. The vehicle was next found abandoned on Tresser Boulevard with front-end damage to the car.
About 30 minutes later Stephenson called state police to report that his Jeep had been stolen, Conklin said. Stephenson said he could not meet with police because he had “warrant issues,” Conklin said, meaning he had three active failure-to-appear arrest warrants, and had missed a probation violation hearing at the Stamford courthouse last week.
Later still, Stephenson was seen sitting on a wall on Lawn Avenue, where the chase had originally begun, and when he saw police he took off on foot, Conklin said.
Police chased him through several back lawns and over a few fences while he threw off the gray hooded sweatshirt he was wearing.
Police finally caught up to him behind some businesses on the south side of East Main Street in a wooded area next to the thruway. Inside Stephenson’s car police found a prescription container containing 20 narcotic painkillers and a small amount of crack cocaine, Conklin said.
Stephenson was charged with engaging police in pursuit, reckless driving, possession of narcotics, resisting arrest, sale of certain illegal drugs and falsely reporting an incident.
At his arraignment, Judge Gary White, the same judge before whom Stephenson was supposed to appear at his probation hearing last week, set Stephenson’s bond for the chase at $300,000. Stephenson is also being held on an additional $115,000 on other cases he has failed to show up to court on.
With Stephenson’s mother sitting in the courtroom, Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Paul Ferencek said the young man had violated his probation by continuing to do drugs, and that he never made restitution for a 2006 armed robbery, for which he was sentenced to six years in jail.
Stephenson’s lawyer, Philip Russell, told White that his client was under the influence of drugs or alcohol and asked that he be given treatment in the jail system.
White requested that Stephenson be given substance abuse evaluation and testing.