WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke Police say a Westfield man led them on a high speed chase through two western Massachusetts cities before he was stopped and tased in Westfield Wednesday night.
Holyoke Police Sgt. Kevin Thomas told 22News that a man, later identified as John Smith, tried to hit a Holyoke Police officer as he drove away from a traffic stop around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The chase went through Holyoke and Westfield with as many as 20 cruisers in pursuit, as well as a State Police helicopter.
Once the suspect was on Homestead Avenue, Holyoke Police called Westfield Police to be ready to intercept. During this time numerous State Police cruisers joined the pursuit.
Westfield resident Matthew Roman said the suspect came very close to hitting him as he was driving onto Rt 202 from East Mountain Road.
“Guy driving had a long beard,” Roman told 22News. “And he started to turn towards East Mountain Road. And when he saw me come out, he turned quickly to straighten out and he kept on on 202 and everybody behind him. All Holyoke and State Police chasing him.”
Just up the road, Westfield Police were waiting with ‘stop sticks’ deployed.
Westfield Police Lt. Chris Pitoniak told 22News Smith’s Volvo drove over the ‘Stop Sticks,’ which slowed him down with a flat tire, and two Holyoke cruisers quickly blocked the vehicle.
“There was some resistance,” said Holyoke Police Sgt. Kevin Thomas. “He was apprehended after a brief struggle. He had to be tased.”
Sgt Thomas said John Smith, a Westfield resident who appeared to be in his 50’s, was being evaluated at Holyoke Medical Center before being brought back to the police station to be formally charged.
John Smith will be arraigned Thursday in Holyoke District court on charges of assault by means of a dangerous weapon, a car; failure to stop for a police officer, and several other motor vehicle violations.
Sgt. Thomas said the chase started when a Holyoke Police officer witnessed Smith leaving a known drug building. Sgt Thomas said when Smith saw the officer, he got in his car and drove the wrong way up a one-way street before being stopped a short distance away, where the alleged assault on an officer took place.