Update: Charges made in downtown foot chase and drug arrest
GREENFIELD — What began as a routine traffic stop Thursday night resulted in a downtown foot chase and the arrest of a Greenfield man who was charged with having a cache of drugs in his possession.
The chase ended in The Recorder’s Hope Street parking lot about 5:45 p.m. where William Darmanchev, 19, was apprehended by state police trooper Jonathan O’Loughlin after a brief scuffle on the ground. He was charged with having 47 bags containing heroin and nine hydrocodone pills.
Darmanchev, of 36 East Cleveland St., faces six charges: possession with intent to distribute a Class A drug, possession with intent to distribute a Class B drug, assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and failure to wear a seat belt.
Police gave this account: the events leading up to the chase began around 5:30 p.m., when O’Loughlin stopped a car with a loud exhaust after it had turned from Main Street onto Hope Street.
While the trooper was talking with the 20-year-old female driver, he noticed Darmanchev, in the passenger seat, repeatedly try to conceal a pill bottle.
O’Loughlin asked to see the bottle, and when Darmanchev refused, the officer went around the rear of the car to approach the passenger side window. But when O’Loughlin was behind the car, Darmanchev jumped out and began running down Hope Street toward Olive.
O’Loughlin said he shouted for Darmanchev to stop, chased him for about 50 feet and then tackled him. Their momentum carried them both to the ground in The Recorder parking lot.
A scuffle ensued, and according to O’Loughlin, “he aggressively put my head and neck into a choke-hold grip.”
O’Loughlin reports he then struck Darmanchev with his flashlight, causing the suspect to release his grip. O’Loughlin struck him again and then handcuffed the subject and called for backup and an ambulance.
O’Loughlin was joined shortly by four Greenfield police officers and another state trooper.
As Darmanchev awaited the ambulance, he sat on the pavement in handcuffs, his forehead bloodied and white sweatshirt dirtied from the scuffle.
Nearby, an amber prescription pill bottle sat shattered. Its contents — which police say included nine hydrocodone pills, 47 “wax baggies” containing heroin and one 20 peso bill of Mexican currency — were strewn about the pavement.
Officers were peering beneath nearby cars, searching for evidence that may have rolled under them.
O’Loughlin was taken to Baystate Franklin Medical Center with minor injuries, but was back in action on Friday, albeit “a little scuffed up,” said Trooper Nick Pellegrino.
Darmanchev was also taken to BFMC for treatment and was released later that evening after receiving treatment, according to Baystate spokeswoman Amy Swisher.
He was arraigned at Greenfield District Court Friday morning and was released on $1,000 bail, said Pellegrino.
The female driver was cited for defective equipment, but was otherwise cooperative and apparently not connected with the drug charges, said Pellegrino.