Ridgefield man returns to court for car-theft shooting

Photo of Peter Yankowski


H John Voorhees III / Hearst Connecticut Media

A homeowner accused of shooting and wounding a 15-year-old girl during a botched car robbery in June 2017 is due to appear in Danbury Superior Court on Wednesday, Sept. 4.

Mauro Tropeano was charged with assault, sale of illegal drugs, illegal discharge of a firearm, and interfering with an officer on Aug. 21.

The charges stem from an aborted car theft on the night of June 5, 2017, which left a 15-year-old Waterbury girl wounded with a bullet lodged in her back, but without fatal injuries.

According to the affidavit for Tropeano’s arrest, the girl later told police she had driven to Ridgefield in a stolen Kia Sorento with a group of friends in order to steal cars.

While the group was attempting to drive off with a Range Rover parked in the driveway of Tropeano’s Hulda Lane home, the homeowner came out of the house and fired three shots. One of the bullets passed through the rear of the Kia and struck her in the back, the girl told police.

She was later admitted to Waterbury Hospital, where doctors were unable to remove the bullet.

In a police interview shortly after the shooting, Tropeano denied having fired a weapon during the attempted robbery, but declined to have his hands tested for gunpowder residue.

A search of Tropeano’s home by police later turned up three spent shell casings that matched the caliber of a Glock handgun in Tropeano’s home, as well as seven vaccuum-sealed packages of marijuana, steroids in injectable and pill form, and more than $28,000 in cash, the Press previously reported. Two guns, including the Glock with a mounted flashlight, were also seized by police.

Through his lawyer, Eugene Riccio, Tropeano later admitted he fired the Glock that night “in defense of my person.”

Tropeano pleaded not guilty in September 2017. The case has not yet gone to trial.