At around 8 p.m. on Saturday an officer was stopped at the intersection of Post Road and Ledge Road when he saw two SUVs — a black one and a white one — get off the I-95 south exit ramp driving at a high rate of speed, police said. They continued onto Post Road and appeared to be following each other, with both driving erratically, police said. They were weaving in and out of traffic, and the officer briefly lost sight of them in the traffic congestion.
The officer caught up to them and saw them turn onto Renshaw Road and accelerate well above the 25 mph speed limit, police said. The black SUV at one point pulled onto the wrong side of the road next to the white SUV, blocking oncoming traffic.
The officer stopped the black SUV while the white one left the scene, but not before the officer noted the license plate. The officer spoke to the driver of the black SUV, 19-year-old Joseph Benati of Norwalk, who said that the driver of the white SUV was his girlfriend, and that they had had a minor disagreement and he was just trying to talk to her, according to police.
He said they'd tried to have dinner in Norwalk but the wait was too long, so she left, police said. He tried to call her, but she wouldn't answer, so he followed her from Norwalk to Darien, according to police.
Police went to the other driver's home and spoke with her. She said that she and Benati had broken up, and that they had met to have dinner and exchange items that belonged to each other. When the wait for dinner was too long, she said Benati got irritated, and said he was going to Westport to have dinner with his parents.
She told police that she left to return to Darien, but Benati followed her, despite saying he was going to Westport. At one point when was stopped at a light, he got out of his car, grabbed her phone from her hand through a rolled-down window, and demanded to know why she wouldn't answer his calls.
She said that Benati then chased her to Darien, and asked police to tell him that she didn't want him to contact her. When police spoke with Benati, he confirmed that they had indeed broken up, but denied that he had chased her. He was charged with reckless driving and disorderly conduct, and released on a promise to appear in court on June 5. He was also told not to have any contact with the other driver.
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