By A.J. ALGIER
Sun Staff Writer
WESTERLY — An Ashaway man fled from Hopkinton police following a routine traffic stop Wednesday afternoon and took them and Westerly police on a chase through the North End. The pursuit ended with the man crashing his 1994 Pontiac into a Hopkinton police cruiser on upper Canal Street near High Street, according to police.
Michael Roberts, 37, who Hopkinton police reported lives at 31 High St., Ashaway, was handcuffed sitting on the side of the road while being questioned by police following the crash between his vehicle and a Hopkinton police SUV being driven by Sgt. Ryan Percival. Roberts’ car smashed into the front of the SUV after he veered into the officer’s lane, Hopkinton Capt. Mark Carrier said at the scene.
Percival was headed in the opposite direction after being called to the chase for back-up. Roberts suffered minor injuries and was transported to The Westerly Hospital by Westerly Ambulance personnel.
The stop began on Main Street and Frontier Road in Ashaway when Hopkinton Officer Keith Lambrects said he saw Roberts, whom he knew had a suspended license, operating a vehicle. Roberts initially gave the officer a false name and could not produce a license, Carrier said, then he took off with an officer in pursuit. Hopkinton police called for back-up from Westerly police as Roberts continued through several streets in Westerly’s North End and then up Canal Street, where the accident occurred.
Westerly Police Chief Edward A. St. Clair said an investigation into the incident continues and Roberts was expected to be charged with a number of offenses, including engaging an officer in pursuit. Hopkinton police are also expected to pursue charges against Roberts. St. Clair said with information from Hopkinton and suspecting a possible DUI, Westerly pursued Roberts on Route 3, down High Street, on to Pierce Street, Pond Street, Perkins Avenue and then on to Canal where the crash took place.
No officers were injured in the crash. The vehicle was not registered to Roberts but to a resident of 31 High St., Ashaway. Roberts reportedly gave Westerly police an address of 256 Lawler Lane, Norwich.