A 24-year-old woman was accused of breaking into the home of a man, who died after he fell into the compactor for the New London transfer station.
Floyd G. Smeeton, 59, of New London, fell 15 feet and became lodged in a machine's hopper at 45 Lewis St. around 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, police said.
Police said Smeeton suffered "traumatic injures" after being "extricated from the compaction unit," police said. Smeeton was taken to a local hospital where police said he later died.
Investigators said Smeeton had brought his trash, likely cardboard and paper, to the transfer station and was not a city employee.
Following Smeeton's death, officers were called to his home on Borodell Place "to secure the residence."
Upon arrival, officers located Danielle Sullivan, of Groton, leaving the residence with a trash bag full of Smeeton's items.
Police said when they tried to stop Sullivan, she began to fight with them and resist arrest. She "continued to be combative" when officers took her to New London Police Headquarters.
When the officers arrived at the New London Police Headquarters, they found a "small quantity of suspected PCP" on Sullivan.
Sullivan was charged with second-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief, possession of burglary tools, sixth-degree larceny, interfering with a police officer, criminal attempt to commit assault on a police officer, possession of a hallucinogen and tampering with evidence.
An autopsy was performed on Smeeton's body on Friday and determined he died of head, chest and thorax trauma. The death was ruled accidental.
The transfer station was closed Friday so police, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and other agencies could investigate the incident.
"After this incident obviously all procedures that we have are under full review," said New London Mayor Daryl Finizio.
Counseling was offered for first responders on Friday.
"I knew his neighbors who knew him rather well," Finizio said. "Obviously, this is a tragedy in our community."
Neighbor Leon Delosreyes called Smeeton "a hell of a nice guy."
"He always helped everybody, didn't go out of his way to be an idiot or something," Delosreyes said. "You couldn't ask for a better guy."
Anyone with any information is asked to call the New London Police Department at 860-447-1481.
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