Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Massachusetts State Police Recover Drug Stash After Car Chase And Violent Arrest

Last Thursday night, two gentlemen in Taunton learned that sometimes it is better to quietly accept a motor vehicle citation than to protest, flee and fight, thereby adding a few felony charges to the experience.

Enterprise News reports that just before 5 p.m. two state troopers spotted an early-model Infiniti G20 with a defective brake light and a sticker indicating that it had failed an inspection on Route 44. They activated their flashing lights and the driver, Brian Lacombe, 20, pulled into the parking lot of KFC restaurant on Route 44 and stopped. However, as the officers left their cruisers to approach on foot, Lacombe apparently had a change of heart and allegedly sped away heading east on Route 44.
And so the chase began.

During the chase, police said, they observed a plastic baggie – later retrieved and determined to contain a Class B drug – being tossed out of a window of the Infiniti into the road near Friendly’s Restaurant in Raynham.

The police chase continued and Lacombe, who reportedly drove through a red light at a busy intersection, made a hard U-turn across the highway island. He then pulled into the Chili’s parking lot, made another U-turn and headed west on Route 44 back into Taunton, racing through red lights in the process, police said. The chase almost ended at the intersection of Oak and Wales streets when Lacombe allegedly crashed into a 1999 Honda Civic driven by a pizza delivery driver, who police said was not injured. Not to be discouraged, Lacombe then made another U-turn. However, a block later, the damaged Infiniti pulled into the driveway of 79 Wales St. Police said Lacombe and his passenger, Julius Nettles, 23, jumped out and began to run away.
Nettles was reportedly quickly apprehended without incident, but Lacombe, ever the optimist, ran through several yards and jumped some fences in an attempt to evade capture. This part of the chase did not last as long, however, and he was apprehended at Oak Street and Hern Avenue, but not before engaging in “a brief but violent struggle” with officers, according to state police spokesman Trooper Thomas Murphy.

Lacombe was treated at the scene for minor injuries before being transported to state police barracks to be booked.

Lacombe was charged with possession with intent to distribute a Class B drug, possession of a Class D drug, failing to stop for police, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, driving with a suspended license, marked lanes violation, driving with a defective brake light, failing to obey both a stop sign and red light, speeding, failing to signal, leaving the scene of an accident with property damage resulting and resisting arrest.

His passenger, Nettles, faces charges of possession with intent to distribute a Class B drug and possession of a Class D drug.

Sam’s take:

Clearly, it is a bad idea to drive when one does not have a valid license. It is also a good idea to make sure the equipment on your motor vehicle is working. Having made these errors in judgment, however, it is usually best not to increase the severity of the situation one thousandfold as did Mr. Lacombe. Most likely, had he simply cooperated with the car stop, he would have received a summons for the defective equipment and driving with a suspended license. His passenger would then have been given the responsibility of driving the vehicle (assuming he had a valid license). One would imagine that this would have been bad enough and Lacombe would get an attorney and defend against the relatively minor charges.

It is seldom a good idea to lead the police in a chase. First of all, they tend to win. Second, property damage, physical injury and even death (potentially yours) can easily result. Further, a foot chase is generally even less successful than the car chase. Finally, any type of violent confrontation with the police, even if merely questioning their authority during a stop, is a contest usually won by law enforcement both at the scene….and later….in the courthouse. For example, notice who needed to get treated for injuries before being transported.

According to this report, Lacombe apparently did not want the police to discover the drugs he had in the car. However, had he simply accepted the citation for the defective equipment and suspended license, there would have been no basis for a car search, especially since his passenger would have been able to drive the car home. By the way, throwing the drugs out the window is not generally an effective means of sidestepping prosecution. There are a number of legal theories which can serve to link one with contraband which is not physically on one’s person.
The only manner of non-cooperation that is usually wise in a police confrontation is not making statements, other than identification information, and, most importantly, getting a lawyer as soon as possible!

The full article of this story can be found at
http://www.enterprisenews.com/news/x1886920440/Car-chase-leads-to-drug-arrests-in-Taunton

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