Police follow gas trail to hit-and-run suspect

Photo credit: The Westfield News

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Police followed a trail of gasoline to find a suspect involved in a hit-and-run accident.

At 4 a.m. Sunday morning, police were called to the area of Elm Electrical Inc., located at 68 Union Street, from a passing motorist who reported seeing a Chevy Camaro run over the Mosley Street sign, which split the Camaro’s gas tank.

After following the fuel trail, police came upon Jayson Tavernier of Springfield standing beside a Chevy Camaro with the keys in the ignition and engine running near Powdermill Village.

Westfield Police Capt. Michael McCabe said that Tavernier’s Camaro had dragged the sign about 130 feet down Union Street.

Tavernier, 32, denied the accident. Police didn’t have quite enough evidence for an arrest at that point, but the officer had enough probable cause to file a criminal complaint, McCabe said.

At approximately 4:45 a.m., police received a call from a woman on Union Street reporting that a man was hiding in her backyard bushes behind her residence.

Police were able to follow footprints Tavernier left in the dew. Because he had hopped a small fence to enter the resident’s yard, he had trespassed, said McCabe.

Tavernier was arrested and charged with trespass and since a criminal complaint was filed, the charges of leaving the scene of property damage, marked lanes violation and speeding could be tacked on to the trespass charge.

Tavernier was arraigned in Westfield District Court Monday and released on his personal recognizance.

He will be back in court for a pretrial hearing on November 9.

Staff Writer Christine Charnosky can be reached at christinec@thewestfieldnewsgroup.com

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