Dog helped police track reckless driving suspect

Victor Martinez, 19, of Springfield faces charges including reckless operation of a motor vehicle and resisting arrest. Image Courtesy: Springfield Police Department
Victor Martinez, 19, of Springfield faces charges including reckless operation of a motor vehicle and resisting arrest. Image Courtesy: Springfield Police Department

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A man driving an unregistered car crashed it into a traffic island before leading an officer and his canine partner on a chase through several backyards in the middle of the pouring rain, Springfield police say.

Sgt. John Delaney told 22News that Victor Martinez, 19, of Holyoke was arrested following the chase early Tuesday morning.

Delaney says that around 2:30 A.M., police patrolling in the downtown area had spotted Martinez driving erratically on Worthington Street. The officers did not chase him because of the heavy rain and bad road conditions, but they ran his plate, and determined the car was not registered.

"Ares" is seen here in this Springfield Police Department photo.
“Ares” is seen here in this Springfield Police Department photo.

A K-9 officer saw the car a short time later at Worthington and Armory Street, and Delaney says Martinez almost hit the cruiser that they were in. Instead, he struck a sign and a traffic island, before getting out of the car and running away.

“Ares” the dog had picked up the suspect’s scent, despite the fact that it was pouring rain outside, something Delaney noted was extremely difficult to do. The dog and the officer followed Martinez through backyards on Magazine Street and Grant Street, before Delaney says they found the suspect hiding in the backyard of a home on Lincoln Street.

Martinez is being charged with reckless operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, resisting arrest, and operating without a license. Delaney says police are looking into whether the Nissan Maxima that Martinez was driving had been stolen.

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