Police chase ends with arrest in Greenfield

  • A Ford pickup with Vermont plates was pursued by police traveling east on Route 2 in Shelburne until it was stopped at the Mobil gas station near the Interstate 91 rotary in Greenfield on Friday, closing that section of highway during the investigation. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Traffic was diverted near Applebee’s in Greenfield after police pursuit of a blue pickup with Vermont plates on Friday morning. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 6/5/2020 3:15:10 PM

GREENFIELD — A Vermont man who was shot by police during a two-state chase that began after an alleged carjacking Friday morning was taken to the hospital after being apprehended in Greenfield.

The driver, the only person in the pickup truck, was identified as Daniel Williams, 33, of South Burlington, Vt., according to Massachusetts State Police spokesperson David Procopio.

According to a statement, the State Police in Western Massachusetts were notified in the morning that police in Vermont were looking for a blue Ford F-150 pickup occupied by a white man involved in a reported carjacking. Further information indicated the suspect had evaded capture and driven over the state line into Massachusetts.

According to Procopio, a cruiser located the vehicle traveling east on Route 2 heading toward Shelburne Falls and pursued it. Shortly before 9 a.m., “a trooper positioned to the east of the approaching suspect vehicle near the Buckland-Shelburne line exited his cruiser and began to lay a tire deflation device onto the road to disable the truck.”

“Preliminary investigation indicates that as the trooper was in the process of laying down the deflation device, the suspect vehicle approached and drove at him as he stood on the road,” the statement reads. “The trooper discharged his service weapon and struck the operator. The pickup truck struck the cruiser and continued to travel east on Route 2.”

According to Procopio, the pickup continued east for several more miles on tires damaged by the deflation device. The chase ended next to the Mobil gas station across from Applebee’s on the Mohawk Trail in Greenfield. Williams was arrested and identified as the suspect Vermont police were seeking earlier in the day. He was transported by ambulance to a hospital.

“The investigation into the incident is ongoing and is being conducted by State Police detectives with assistance from MSP Crime Scene Services and Ballistics units,” the statement reads. “As in all police-involved shootings, the incident will he reviewed by the district attorney.”

Greenfield Police Chief Robert Haigh Jr. said his department assisted when the chase entered the city. He said his officers closed part of the Mohawk Trail for less than an hour.

Resident Thom Kendall witnessed part of the chase while on a morning walk. Between 8:50 and 8:55 a.m., he was on Colrain Road, ready to take a left toward the rotary. That’s when he noticed a couple of police cruisers speed by up Route 2. He said he also saw another cruiser come through the rotary toward the intersection of Route 2 and Colrain Road before turning around and returning to the rotary to block off traffic flow. Kendall said two more cruisers came and blocked off the exit to Route 2 West.

He continued on his walk around the rotary and headed toward Applebee’s, at which point he saw a pickup truck leading “a huge collection of cruisers.” At that point, he said, the truck was driving on its rims. Kendall said the driver was nevertheless trying to accelerate.

“He was trying to continue his progress without the benefit of having tires,” Kendall recalled. “It was pretty apparent he wasn’t going to get very far.”

Kendall said he saw officers pour out of their vehicles with their weapons drawn and “there was a lot of yelling.” He said at least one officer or state trooper brandished a rifle. Kendall said he did not see the driver get handcuffed, but saw him shirtless on the ground and saw him being placed into an ambulance.

By the time the chase ended, Kendall said he saw 18 cruisers “at the very least.”

“It was pretty wild, considering I was just out for a morning walk,” he said.

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

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