BEVERLY — A man suspected by police of being a drug dealer rammed two police vehicles, injuring a detective in the process, and then took off, leading police on a 75-mile-per-hour chase through downtown Beverly last month, prosecutors say.
Cedric Wongus, 26, of Lynn eluded police on the night of May 21 but was caught and arrested in Lynn on Tuesday on a string of warrants, including the Beverly case.
Wongus was ordered held on $100,000 cash bail following his arraignment yesterday in Salem District Court, where Judge Richard Mori also revoked his bail in a prior Salem case of driving after license suspension.
Beverly police had just arrested a man named Sonni Decesare, 24, of 551 Cabot St., Beverly, on drug charges and noticed that his cell phone repeatedly rang with calls from a woman known to them as a suspected dealer, Gabrielle Ziol, 27, of Salem, according to a report by Beverly police Detective Thomas Nolan.
Working undercover, an Ipswich police officer contacted Ziol arranging to purchase four "twists," or small bags, of heroin for $50 each.
The undercover officer asked Ziol if she could deliver the drugs to Beverly, but Ziol allegedly told the officer she had no car and recommended another dealer, "Ced," who happened to be making deliveries in the area that night.
Police, still undercover, arranged to meet "Ced" in the parking lot of Walgreens in Beverly shortly after 10 p.m.
But when "Ced" — later identified as Wongus — realized that he was surrounded by police officers, he took off, backing into an Ipswich police cruiser parked directly behind his, then striking a Beverly cruiser.
As he backed up, he struck the arm of Ipswich Detective Edward Gallivan, causing an injury to the officer's hand.
Police pursued Wongus through several side streets and onto the Beverly-Salem bridge, where a shift commander called off the chase.
Wongus was charged with conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substances Act, three counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a vehicle), driving to endanger, failing to stop for police, driving after license suspension, speeding, malicious destruction of property, a wrong-way violation, use of a vehicle in commission of a felony, and failing to stop for a sign. He pleaded not guilty to all counts.
Besides Nolan and Gallivan, officers involved in the case included Beverly Sgt. Michael Cassola and Patrolman Shawn Desmond and Ipswich Patrolman Taryn Brotherton.