Two arrested after Bernardston crash, foot pursuit

  • Raphael M. Cruz-Crespo and Izabella M. Martin, both 25 and of Connecticut, were arrested Thursday night after fleeing from police and crashing in the area of the Exit 28A off-ramp in Bernardston. A search of the vehicle by police yielded two clear bags — one containing a white powder believed to be about 33 grams of powder cocaine and one containing a white chunky substance believed to be roughly 47 grams of crack cocaine. Contributed Photo/MASSACHUSETTS STATE POLICE

Staff Writer
Published: 1/22/2021 1:16:29 PM

BERNARDSTON — Two Connecticut residents face charges after allegedly refusing to comply with a traffic stop on Interstate 91 before crashing a vehicle near the Exit 28A off-ramp and fleeing on foot Thursday night.

Raphael M. Cruz-Crespo, 25, believed to be homeless but from Connecticut, is set to be charged with two counts of trafficking in cocaine, and single counts of conspiracy to violate drug laws, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of property damage, being a fugitive from justice, speeding and a marked lanes violation. He was the driver of the vehicle and the subject of warrants out of Connecticut. Izabella M. Martin, 25, of New Britain, Conn., was charged with two counts of trafficking in cocaine and a single count of conspiracy to violate drug laws. She was the passenger.

According to information from Massachusetts State Police spokesperson David Procopio, a trooper with the Shelburne Falls barracks attempted to stop a 2020 Kia Optima with Connecticut license plates at 7:07 p.m. on Thursday for speeding and erratic operation. However, the driver, Cruz-Crespo, allegedly refused to stop and a pursuit ensued northbound on Interstate 91, with the Kia fleeing “at an extremely high speed.” The pursuit ended a short time later.

The Bernardston Police notified State Police at 7:47 p.m. that the suspect vehicle had crashed in the area of the Exit 28A off-ramp and the suspects fled on foot, according to Procopio. State Police troopers, K-9s and local police officers started searching for the suspects near Merrifield Road, Hillcrest Drive (where Procopio said the K-9 picked up a scent) and Bernardston’s state Department of Transportation yard.

“I believe an address on Harwood (Drive) was checked out briefly,” Procopio added.

Bernardston Police located Cruz-Crespo and Martin on Northfield Road at approximately 9 p.m. State troopers responded to the location and took the individuals into custody after confirming they were the two suspects in the Kia during the pursuit, according to Procopio. Both were taken to Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield for evaluation of potential injuries from in the crash.

According to Procopio, troopers searching the Kia found two clear bags, one containing a white powder believed to be about 33 grams of powder cocaine and one containing a white chunky substance believed to be approximately 47 grams of crack cocaine.

Martin was released on personal recognizance and has a judge’s hearing scheduled for March 19. Cruz-Crespo is being held at the Franklin County House of Correction in Greenfield on $50,000 bail. He has a judge’s hearing set for Feb. 18.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.




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