, Salem, MA

June 11, 2013

Police: Driver in chase had teen in car


---- — SALEM — A Peabody man is facing a string of charges after police say he led them on a brief chase through parts of Salem and Peabody Saturday night with a 13-year-old passenger.

Jerry Garcia Jr., 23, of 4 Broad St., pleaded not guilty to charges that include driving to endanger, failing to stop for police, failing to stop for a red light, improper passing and driving without a license, as well as on a warrant from Lynn, during his arraignment yesterday in Salem District Court.

Salem police prosecutor Lt. Conrad Prosniewski told a judge that Garcia, who was wanted on a warrant, was spotted by officers coming out of the 7-Eleven on Norman Street Saturday evening.

Garcia was seen approaching a Kia in the lot, then, after spotting police, went back into the store, Prosniewski told Judge Michael Lauranzano.

Patrolman Richard Cunningham decided to take a drive around the block. When he returned, Garcia was back in the parking lot, then again went into the store. The officer pulled away, and Garcia returned to his car and made his getaway, police said.

Cunningham spotted the Kia on North Street and tried to pull it over, but Garcia kept driving, heading into Peabody.

On Walnut Street, Peabody police joined in the pursuit, following the Kia back toward Salem.

Near the Harmony Grove Cemetery, Garcia jumped out and ran away on foot. He was later found in the cemetery.

The 13-year-old was unharmed.

Defense lawyer Heidi Shore said her client works at Wal-Mart and could not afford $500 bail.

Lauranzano set bail at $250, but Garcia won’t be able to post it until he deals with the pending Lynn warrant.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for July 8.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.