Suspect arrested after multi-city chase; allegedly tried to crash into police cruiser

Springfield police say they had to use taser to take Joshua Ferdinand Salaam into custody

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Joshua Ferdinand Salaam (pictured) is accused of leading Springfield and state police on a chase that started and ended in Springfield, and went as far as Holyoke at one point. Image Courtesy: Springfield Police Department

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A man who allegedly led city and state police on a chase across Springfield and as far away as Holyoke, was finally taken into custody after bailing out of the moving vehicle and being tasered by police.

According to Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney, 25 year-old Joshua Ferdinand Salaam of Northampton also almost collided head-on with a police cruiser during the pursuit.

Delaney says it all began before 8:15 Sunday morning, when a Springfield officer running radar on Parker Street in Sixteen Acres saw Salaam’s Cadillac speeding by at 55 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone. The officer tried to follow Salaam, but he lost sight of him.

A short time later, police received a call from a driver whose vehicle was struck by the same Cadillac in Indian Orchard. The driver was following the car, and gave police its location. Police spotted it on State Street near Stebbins Street, but again Salaam traveled out of sight.

At about 8:45, another officer saw Salaam driving down Sumner Avenue near the “X,” and Delaney says the suspect honked his horn as he sped by. “It appeared to officers that his driver was attempting some sort of confrontation with police,” Delaney wrote on the department’s official Facebook page.

State police later found Salaam, and followed him as far away as Mount Tom in Holyoke, where Delaney says Salaam turned around and began traveling southbound into West Springfield, and finally downtown Springfield. With a state police helicopter flying overhead, Springfield police tried to box the suspect in on the downtown streets, but Salaam allegedly drove right at them; nearly missing one officer who drove out of the way just in time.

According to Delaney, officers finally were able to box the suspect in at Sumner Avenue and Fort Pleasant Avenue, but Salaam did not surrender. The suspect jumped out of the moving Cadillac, and an officer had to then jump in, in order to get the car to stop.

“The driver was irrational and combative with the officers on scene. He was jumpy and his eyes appeared bloodshot. The driver/suspect kept reaching toward his waistband on his pants and would not comply with the officers’ commands,” Delaney wrote.

Ultimately, Delaney said that the officers had to use a taser to get the suspect under control.

According to Delaney, Salaam’s girlfriend told police that the whole night before, her boyfriend had been using and selling cocaine.

He was held pending his arraignment, scheduled for Monday in Springfield District Court. Salaam is facing the following charges:

    • Assault by means of a dangerous weapon (motor vehicle)
    • Operating under the influence of illegal narcotics
    • Reckless operation of a motor vehicle
    • Failure to stop for police
    • Leaving the scene of a property damage accident
    • Speeding

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