This Massachusetts Dangerous Driving tale did not begin in Boston…it did not even begin in Massachusetts. But it ended there. In Springfield. In court. With a defense lawyer by his side trying to explain why his out-of-state allegedly reckless client should go home after his arraignment.
When 33-year-old Rogelio V. (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) entered the Commonwealth on Monday morning, he was not alone. He was leading a kind of law enforcement parade. By “parade”, I mean “chase”. State and local police had been led on a wild ride that ended when the Defendant allegedly intentionally rammed a cruiser on Center Street, Captain Eugene C. Dexheimer said.
“He wasn’t going to stop for anybody,” Dexheimer said.
The chase began in Hartford, Connecticut after the Defendant was involved in a hit and run accident there, Longmeadow Police Sgt. John D. Stankiewicz said. Longmeadow police first spotted the Defendant, northbound on Route 5, shortly before 2:30 a.m. Until that point, Hartford and Enfield police had been involved in the chase, police said.
When the Defendant, refused to stop, Longmeadow police deployed spike strips, blowing out all four of his vehicle’s tires, police said.
The “never say die” Defendant, eventually driving on his rims, continued to flee at speeds below 30 mph Dexheimer said. “Sparks were flying from the tires that now were wheels,” Dexheimer said.
Still not content that he had pushed the situation as far as it could go, the Defendant decided to go onto Interstate 91. Upon doing so, he drove the wrong way up the off-ramp, traveled over the highway and then onto Longhill Street, Stankiewicz said.
Massachusetts state police picked up the chase in Springfield and Vazquez drove north on Main Street, police said.
Sgt. John M. Delaney, aide to Police Commissioner William J. Fitchet, said cruisers were following “just like a parade.” The chase ended on West Street in Chicopee when the Defendant crashed into a Springfield cruiser, causing minor damage, Delaney said. The officers inside the cruiser, Felix Perez and Stephen Sicard, were not injured.
The hopelessly energetic Defendant, who then attempted to run, was arrested by Springfield police. He suffered a minor scrape to his face when he fell on ice. No other injuries were reported, police said.
The Defendant faces a variety of charges, from Connecticut police and police in Springfield, Longmeadow, Enfield and Hartford, Delaney said. His Springfield charges include: failure to stop for a stop sign, violation of marked lanes, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, refusal to stop for police, assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon (his vehicle) driving with a suspended license, resisting arrest, driving without insurance and possession of heroin, Delaney said.
This seems like as good a time as any to announce that the “Hey, I’ll Bet I Can Make This Situation Worse” club has opened its membership for 2009 nominations. I think we have here a gentleman with a very bright future in the governance of the club here.
Well, perhaps the Defendant has a point here. Why settle for one charge in one state when you can get a whole lot more in two different states…not to mention several townships?
Translation? If you are being sought for one crime, it is really best to settle for that one, comply with police quietly and get home that night so you can figure out what you want to do for legal counsel. Pushing the limits of the situation like the Defendant did is not terribly wise.
In actuality, he is lucky that the charges which he faces are not worse. As discussed yesterday, had officers or anyone else were injured because of the chase, he would be looking at homicide charges today.
Massachusetts vehicular homicide cases do not tend to end all that well for defendants leading a criminal justice parade.
As one can see, under the law, a vehicle can be considered a weapon. In this case, he is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, that weapon being his car.
The bottom line here? My legal advice would be to print out today’s daily blog and keep a copy of it handy in case you find yourself in a motor vehicle mishap. Refer to it as needed as a shining example of what not to do.
The full article of this story can be found at http://www.masslive.com/hampfrank/republican/index.ssf?/base/news-18/1233649253275790.xml&coll=1