Police use cell phone GPS to track Conn. man to Va.

Virginia State Police on Wednesday stopped and arrested a 74-year-old man wanted on an attempted murder charge in Connecticut after police tracked his movements on Interstate 95 using the GPS in his cell phone.

Police in Meriden, Conn., sent out a teletype Wednesday alerting police nationwide that they should be on the lookout for the man who was driving a Blue Chevrolet Express Van with Connecticut license plate CR-8725, a Virginia State Police news release says. He was to be considered armed and dangerous and was believed to be carrying a .38-caliber handgun.

About 2:30 p.m., State Police in Fairfax called the Chesapeake Division to alert troopers that Meriden police were tracking the man using his phone’s internal GPS.

A sergeant in Emporia contacted Meriden to find out exactly which cell phone towers had tracked the man so he and several troopers would know when he was in their area and they could watch for him.

About 3 p.m., they spotted the man in the northbound lanes at the 9 mile marker in Greensville County where he was stopped and arrested without incident, said Sgt. Michelle Anaya, State Police spokeswoman.

Ralph Pompano also is wanted on warrants in Meriden charging him with criminal attempted assault 1, reckless endangerment and unlawful discharge, according to the release. He was taken to Greensville to await extradition to Connecticut where a $250,000 bond has been established.

According to The Record-Journal newspaper’s website in Meriden, police were called to a home in South Meriden about 11:30 a.m. Monday on a report of shots being fired. When they arrived, they were told that the elderly homeowner had fired at his son.

The man was not injured, the newspaper reported.

By Cindy Clayton
The Virginian-Pilot
© October 13, 2011