Police shoot, stun Leeds man during chase in Holyoke

  • Flashing police lights File photo

@ecutts_HG
Published: 12/28/2017 10:28:19 PM

Police fired multiple shots at and repeatedly attempted to subdue a Leeds man with a stun gun after he allegedly led them on a high-speed chase through Holyoke.

Dan R. Guyette, 46, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Holyoke District Court to negligent operation of a motor vehicle, three counts of attempted murder, three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, and nine counts of leaving the scene of property damage. He also denied a civil infraction of improper operation of a motor vehicle.

The incident leading to Guyette’s arrest began around 9 p.m. Saturday on High Street in Holyoke. It was there Holyoke Police Officer Rafael A. Roca saw Guyette’s blue Chevy SUV traveling the wrong way down High Street at a high rate of speed, according to Roca’s report. A state trooper was also in the area and began to follow the SUV, activating its emergency lights.

The vehicle, though, refused to stop and continued to drive to the Elmwood Towers Apartment Complex, where it drove over the curb and almost struck a pedestrian on the sidewalk, Roca wrote. At the apartment complex, Guyette struck a row of seven parked cars.

“At this time, I believed that Mr. Guyette may have been experiencing a medical emergency,” Roca wrote. “For fear of being struck and trapped inside my vehicle, I exited my cruiser and created distance between myself and the suspect vehicle.”

Guyette then allegedly tried to leave the parking lot by “continually shifting the vehicle between drive to reverse and pushing parked cars out of the way” and at one point drove his vehicle at the state trooper and Roca, according to the report. Still not responding to police commands, police then smashed the front passenger-side window of Guyette’s vehicle in an attempt to “make it easier to communicate,” Roca wrote.

Following that, Guyette allegedly turned his head, looked Roca in the eye and then shifted the vehicle into drive, accelerating out of an embankment and then wedging the SUV between two parked cars to create an “escape path where there was no exit that led to Carlton Street,” Roca wrote. Shortly after that, police attempted to subdue Guyette using a stun gun.

“At this point, I could hear Mr. Guyette screaming from the pain that was caused by the Taser deployment. He then slid over to the passenger side and began to remove the Taser wire from his body,” Roca wrote. “I ran around to the passenger side of the SUV to try pulling Mr. Guyette out of the window. However, when Mr. Guyette took notice to my actions, he slid back into the driver’s seat and accelerated the vehicle’s engine.”

At some point during the incident, the vehicle lost its front left wheel, police said. Guyette allegedly attempted to back into the trooper and fearing “imminent death or personal bodily injury” to himself or others, Roca drew his service weapon and fired three rounds at Guyette, according to the officer’s report.

“Mr. Guyette then yelled out ‘alright, alright’ and took off northbound on Carlton Street at a high rate of speed,” Roca wrote.

A “Code 50” was issued calling all units to respond to the incident. Several other officers attempted to stop Guyette’s vehicle as it continued through the city before getting onto southbound Interstate 391. It was on the interstate that Guyette crashed into a guardrail and then spun 180 degrees, according to a report from Holyoke Police Officer Jabet Lopez.

Lopez and another officer drew their service weapons and yelled for Guyette to leave his vehicle but he did not comply with officers and appeared to be attempting to flee the area, according to Lopez’s report. Police then used a Taser, which again allegedly had no effect. Lopez then went to remove Guyette from his vehicle and in an attempt to get him out and place him under arrest, punched Guyette in the nose, according to the report.

“Once Mr. Guyette was finally taken out of the vehicle and placed on the ground he was placed in handcuffs and stated ‘alright you guys got me,’” Lopez wrote.

When police searched Guyette’s car, they found multiple empty and full small liquor bottles and a video camera mounted on the inside front of the windshield just below the rear view mirror, according to court documents.

Police reports contained no information on a possible motive for Guyette’s alleged actions.

Guyette was taken to Baystate Medical Center where he was treated for his injuries. He was released to police custody on Sunday. Following the incident, Roca was taken to Holyoke Medical Center by ambulance where he was treated for an injury to his left knee and released, according to court documents.

Following his arraignment, Guyette is being held on $10,000 bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 25.

Emily Cutts can be reached at ecutts@gazettenet.com.

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