SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

January 24, 2013

Driver leads cop on chase into Danvers

DANVERS — When Middleton Patrolman Michael LeColst used his cruiser’s blue lights yesterday morning on Route 114 in an attempt to stop a Honda Civic, the driver at first appeared to cooperate.

Then the car took off, leading LeColst on a four-mile chase from 49 S. Main St., the intersection of routes 114 and 62, down Route 62 yesterday at 9:01 a.m. The driver led the Middleton officer into Danvers, where the car flipped over at the intersection of Maple and Pine streets.

The driver then fled on foot and was captured by LeColst, a 10-year veteran of the Middleton department.

LeColst identified the driver as Juan Torres, 35, of 32 Lawrence St., Lawrence. He faces a laundry list of charges: failure to stop for police, operating to endanger, driving with a revoked license, speeding, a marked lanes violation, resisting arrest, failure to stop or yield, disorderly conduct, and giving police a false name.

“I tried to initiate the traffic stop for showing an expired license,” said LeColst, who said Torres started to pull over but then fled through the Cumberland Farms gas station onto Maple Street and headed toward Danvers.

The car crashed after it passed several vehicles, then clipped another vehicle trying to make a quick maneuver, LeColst said. The Honda rolled once and landed back on its wheels. By this time, State Trooper Anthony Vorias had joined the chase.

“The operator then crawled out of the driver’s-side window and fled on foot. I then exited the cruiser and ... chased him,” LeColst said.

The short foot pursuit went through several backyards, up a porch and over a railing before LeColst took Torres into custody. Torres was eventually taken to Beverly Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, LeColst said.

Police also charged him with four outstanding warrants.

LeColst said late yesterday afternoon that they were still booking Torres, and he expected him to be arraigned in Salem District Court today.

“You just try to do the right thing, make sure you are safe and everyone else is safe,” LeColst said.

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.

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