Warrant: Tip led to arrest in fatal hit and run in Berlin

Warrant: Tip led to arrest in fatal hit and run in Berlin

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BERLIN — An anonymous tip led authorities to the suspect in a hit and run that killed a homeless woman in October.

Emanuel Story, 31, of 266 Brooke Meadow Road, was charged Jan. 4 with evading responsibility. He was released after posting $100,000 bond and was scheduled to appear in New Britain Superior Court on Thursday. Jeremy Donnelly, his attorney, requested a continuance until Jan. 30.  

On Oct. 16, 2019,  Janine Wiktor, 58, was struck and killed near Prentice Place apartments, 319 New Britain Road. She died of injuries to her head, neck and torso. 

Police are familiar with Wiktor, who is homeless and pushes her belongings in a shopping cart, according to Story’s arrest warrant. 

There was debris around the accident scene from Wiktor’s shopping cart and belongings, including a shoe.

Officers also found pieces of a broken vehicle grille and headlight, the warrant said. As they viewed security video from surrounding businesses, police noticed a red pickup truck at a nearby McDonald’s that appeared to have front end damage and distinct features. Police released the image to the media and public, asking for assistance identifying the vehicle and driver. 

On Oct. 21 police received an anonymous tip that a person named “Manny Story” – who was affiliated with a body shop in New Britain – may have been involved in the incident, the warrant said. The caller also told police Story may have been playing darts at Tavern on the Trax before the crash. 

Police went to the auto body business and saw a pickup truck in the parking lot that matched the one from the security video. Police observed front end damage, including a broken headlight, and distinct chrome features that matched the vehicle in the video.

Police spoke with the owner of the business, Robert Story, who is Emanuel Story’s father. He told police his son said that he hit a deer on the night of Oct. 16. Robert Story said he “knew something wasn’t right,” and told police the truck had been parked at the business since Oct. 17. 

Police found black plastic embedded in the broken front grille that was consistent with the bag Wiktor was wearing at the time of the collision, along with a shoe that was wedged near the truck’s undercarriage. The shoe matched one recovered from the scene of the incident, the warrant said. Police also found new grille and headlight assembly kits inside the truck with stickers showing they were purchased on Oct. 17. 

Police obtained video from Tavern on the Trax, 845 Farmington Ave., on the night of the incident. The video showed Emanuel Story was in the bar until around 10:25 p.m., about two minutes before Wiktor was struck and killed. The scene of the hit-and-run was about half a mile away from the business. 

Emanuel Story declined to be interviewed until speaking with his attorney. When police contacted Donnelly, he said he would not make his client available for an interview about the incident. 

Twitter: @LaurenSellewRJ