Thursday, July 03, 2014
WESTFIELD — A man was arrested on Southampton Road in Westfield Wednesday evening, surrounded by Holyoke and Westfield Police and a State Police helicopter, after leading officers on a high-speed chase through three cities.
Holyoke Police Sgt. Kevin Thomas said John Smith of Westfield will face charges including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and numerous motor vehicle charges after the chase. When Smith finally stopped his car on Southampton Road in Westfield he was uncooperative and police had to use a Taser several times to subdue him, Thomas said.
Smith, who Thomas said was in his mid- to late 50s, was being evaluated at Holyoke Medical Center Wednesday night as a precaution.
Thomas said that shortly after 6 p.m. police tried to question Smith as he emerged from a “known drug building” at Elm and Appleton streets. He allegedly fled to his vehicle and drove away, traveling the wrong way on a one-way street. He led police through downtown Holyoke, at one point driving his car straight at an officer who attempted to approach on foot, Thomas said.
Smith then drove north on I-91 into Northampton, getting off at Exit 18 and traveling south on Route 5, back into Holyoke, and then west on Route 202 into Westfield.
Westfield Police Lt. Jay Pitoniak said that at 6:30 p.m. his officers deployed “stop sticks,” which are designed to puncture tires, on Route 202, also called North Road.
When the vehicle sped by, three tires were popped, he said. The driver turned onto Southampton Road and then stopped, Pitoniak said.
Rebecca Everett can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.