By PHILLIP BANTZ
Published: Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The Vermont man accused of leading police on a chase that topped 100 mph early Sunday morning appeared in Keene District Court on Monday.
James Davis, 39, of Springfield, Vt., was arraigned on charges of driving with an open container of alcohol, driving while intoxicated, reckless operation, disobeying police and driving after his license was suspended — his second offense.
A Bellows Falls police officer saw a vehicle driving erratically at about 2 a.m. just before the car crossed over the New Arch Bridge spanning the Connecticut River and entered Walpole on Route 12, said village police Sgt. Shane Harris.
The officer notified dispatch, giving Walpole officers a heads-up as the vehicle entered town.
Walpole police Officer Michael P. Milano was patrolling on Route 12 near the Bellows Falls village line when he heard the bulletin.
“The vehicle came around the corner, almost half in my lane, and then we went for a ride,” Milano said.
Milano chased the suspect’s speeding Dodge Stratus from Route 12 to Route 63, where the vehicle spun around on an S-shaped curve and headed back toward Route 12. The chase hit speeds of more than 100 mph at two points along Route 12, Milano said.
Walpole police Officer Raymond Gosetti and an officer from Charlestown who heard about the chase on his radio helped Milano during the incident.
The pursuit went from Walpole to Langdon to Alstead to Surry before entering Keene, where city officers placed two spike mats into the path of the Stratus, puncturing three of the car’s tires.
After the Stratus hit the spikes it went off the road and stopped, but Davis refused to exit the vehicle, according to Walpole police Cpl. Justin R. Sanctuary.
Police used pepper spray on Davis, then he stepped out of the car and was arrested without further incident, Sanctuary said.
Once the Stratus was pulled over, police discovered that a woman in her 30s had been sitting in the car’s passenger seat during the chase. She was not injured during the incident and has not been charged with a crime. Police also found an open can of Budweiser beer in the car, Milano said.
Davis was also wanted on a bench warrant out of Claremont District Court, according to Milano.
A judge set Davis’ bail at $10,000 during Monday’s arraignment. He remained at the Cheshire County jail today.