Easton Man Charged in Fatal Hit-and-Run Pleads Guilty

An Easton man and former firefighter pleaded guilty on Wednesday to charges involving a July 4, 2020 hit-and- run in Fairfield that killed a 32-year-old Pennsylvania woman.

Declan Patrick Kot pleaded guilty in Bridgeport Superior Court to second-degree manslaughter, tampering with physical evidence, both felonies, and evading responsibility resulting in the death of Marileidy Morel Araujo of Matamoras, Pennsylvania.

Araujo was walking her dog on July 4, 2020 between 7:30 to 7:45 p.m. in the area of 2000 Redding Road when she was struck by a vehicle, according to Fairfield Police. The driver of the vehicle fled the scene before police arrived. Two passing motorists found Araujo lying in the roadway and called 911. Araujo was visiting family in Fairfield.

Fairfield Police Quality of Life Unit, Crash Investigation Unit and Easton Police canvassed Redding Road area residents who were able to provide video of the roadway during the time of the crash.

Video footage showed a White Dodge Ram pickup truck with black rims fleeing the area north on Redding Road with a large American flag flying from a pole attached to the rear tow hitch.

On July 7 a Fairfield police officer was on patrol when he spotted a Dodge Ram fitting the description traveling on North Benson Road. The officer conducted an investigative stop of the vehicle. Police arrested Kot a day later on July 8.

Kot is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 10 in Bridgeport Superior Court. He remains in custody on a $ 1 million bond.