CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A man was arrested on a charge of operating under the influence of drugs, after Chicopee police say that he crashed into a parked car, fire hydrant, and a light pole early Wednesday morning. The vehicle later caught fire after police struggled to arrest the suspect.
Chicopee Police Officer Mike Wilk told 22News that Matthew Malke, 26, of Chicopee is also charged with leaving the scene of a property damage crash, resisting arrest, and a marked lanes violation following the incident on East Street.
Wilk said police were called to the area of East and Carew Streets shortly before 1:00 A.M., where they found a “debris field all over the road.” A witness told police that a man, who was lying on the ground, was the driver of the car involved, but Wilk says that after hearing that, the man (later identified as Malke,) began to run away.
Wilk says an unknown person was able to stop Malke, but the suspect lied down on his hands, in an effort to prevent police from handcuffing him. Ultimately, a Chicopee officer and an off-duty Springfield officer were able to get a hold of Malke’s hands, and he was taken into custody.
The suspect was sweating profusely, had dilated pupils, and had been “extremely jumpy and was out of touch with reality,” Wilk wrote on the department’s official Facebook page. As EMTs got to the crash site to examine Malke, his car burst into flames. Officers had to evacuate nearby houses as firefighters got the fire under control.
A stretch of East Street had to be shut down while everything was cleaned up.
Malke was taken to the hospital, and after being released, was taken to police headquarters for booking. He will be arraigned Wednesday in Chicopee District Court.