Vignola said there was some confusion at the bank. The teller did not entirely believe Hawke-Petit's story about the hostage situation but the bank manager did, he said.

Ullmann noted that the bank teller told police that Hawke-Petit was "petrified."

Ullmann also questioned Vignola about an officer who, upon hearing the call, went to the police department to get SWAT gear instead of going to the Petit home. Ullmann asked Vignola if police already carry weapons. Vignola said yes.

Ullmann, referring to the time police spent responding to the call, said that even with all the setup, "you were too late."

Nicholson objected to the comment, and Blue said Vignola did not have to respond.

Vignola was excused from the stand and hurried from the courtroom without acknowledging Petit, sitting in the front row.

"They're Fleeing"

Under earlier questioning by prosecutors, Vignola said he drove by the Petit home about 9:40 a.m. and "saw nothing." Two vehicles in the Petit driveway belonged to the Petits, according to a records check, he said.

He assigned officers to Hotchkiss Ridge Road to check the neighborhood, perhaps for another vehicle.

Vignola said he saw a man leave the rear of the home. He said that it was Joshua Komisarjevsky and that he was holding a satchel. Komisarjevsky is also charged in the crimes, but his trial will not begin until Hayes' is finished.

Komisarjevsky went back to the home and came out with another man with a bag in his hand and got into a vehicle, a Chrysler Pacifica. Komisarjevsky put the vehicle in reverse.

"They were running full tilt. They were very excited, running around. ... They were in a hurry," Vignola said.

Vignola said that he tried to block the driveway and that the Pacifica came at him fast, hitting his car and spinning into a stone wall.

Vignola and Detective Dennis Boucher jumped out of their vehicle and ran up to the Pacifica with pistols drawn. Another officer came up to the front of the car and pointed a rifle at the vehicle. The occupants were ordered out. Instead, the Pacifica took off, nearly hitting an officer.

Two patrol cars chased the Pacifica. "I heard there was a crash moments later," Vignola said.

At the same time, Vignola said, he saw black smoke coming from the rear of the Petit home.

Cheshire Detective Joseph Vitello testified that he was in the Petit neighborhood in his patrol car with the windows down when he heard someone call, "Hey Dave." Before he could react to that, he heard over his police radio, "They're fleeing, they're fleeing."

Vitello said that after the Pacifica crashed, Hayes was hesitant to come out. Vitello had to yell several times before Hayes dropped to his knees and ultimately to a prone position. "He kept picking his head up to look around," Vitello said.

Vitello said he saw a handgun tucked into Hayes' pants. Vitello went over to Hayes and arrested him.

Hayes, Vitello said, identified himself as "Peter Hayes."

Vitello said he was familiar with Komisarjevsky, a Cheshire resident who lived about two miles from the crime scene. Vitello said he "dealt with him when he was a juvenile" regarding a police matter.