standing Westerly Police Department Cruiser

WESTERLY — Three local residents are facing charges, two as hit-and-run drivers and the third for interfering with police, after they were involved in a four-car crash along Granite Street last week before fleeing to a nearby friends home.

Westerly police on Wednesday arrested 20-year-old Michael T. Brown, 18-year-old Nicholas Fredrick McLean and a 16-year-old boy on separate charges related to the incident. Both McLean and the 16-year-old were charged with failure to stop at an accident resulting in personal injury or death and driving with an expired license.

McLean and Brown, of 71 White Rock Road in Westerly, were also charged with disorderly conduct after attempting to prevent officers from continuing their investigation, officials said.

Westerly Police Capt. Shawn Lacey said the three were charged following an investigation into a four-car crash that occurred along Granite Street as all four cars were traveling south in the vicinity of Tower Street. According to police, a green Toyota RAV4 driven by McLean struck the rear of a gray Chrysler driven by the 16-year-old.

Lacey said the impact of the collision pushed the Chrysler into a Suburu in front it, which subsequently struck a second Suburu. The impact left one with injuries that were not considered life threatening. The two front cars were later towed from the scene.

"A witness was able to provide a description of one of the cars and its driver and pointed in the direction of Joshua Street, where the car was last seen traveling," Lacey said. "An officer found both cars parked in a back area of a driveway on Harrison Street a few minutes later."

Lacey said the cars, which matched the description, both had visible damage to their front end. The Chrysler was also smoking and had damage to the back. Officers then approached the home and heard fighting inside, breaking down the door after occupants refused entry several times.

Police said Brown and McLean made sure officers knew they "were not wanted," and attempted to escort them out of the home, leading to their arrest.

An investigation determined that the two had borrowed cars registered to a friend and had gone out for a "quick trip" when the incident occurred. Lacey said both the 16-year-old and McLean were driving without a license and fought briefly on scene before getting back in their cars and fleeing.

Brown and McLean were arraigned late last week in Fourth Division District Court. Brown was released following the hearing while McLean, who is considered a bail violator as a result of a previous breaking and entering case, was held without bond pending a civil violations hearing on Dec. 5.

The 16-year-old was referred to Family Court and turned over to a guardian, police said.

jvallee@thewesterlysun.com