High speed chase ends with VSP cruiser damaged Pursuit crosses into Massachusetts before ending in arrest

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Bret Cappola

A high speed pursuit of a stolen car that stretched from Putney, Vt., to Deerfield, Mass., yesterday ended with the driver bailing out and the vehicle crashing into a Vermont State Police cruiser.

According to a VSP press release, at about 5:45 p.m. troopers tried to stop a 2009 black Jeep Grand Cherokee that was being driven erratically on I-91 southbound near Putney but the driver, Bret Cappola, 36, of East Wareham, Mass., fled driving at more than 105 mph while swerving across all lanes and even attempting to pass vehicles via the breakdown lane.

Police said that Cappola took Exit 1 and headed south on Route 5 at high speed, “nearly striking oncoming traffic and pedestrians as well as almost going off the right hand side of the road on numerous occasions.”

The pursuit crossed into Massachusetts with the Bernardston Police taking the lead and Cappola returning to southbound I-91 at the Greenfield on-ramp. According to police, Cappola slowed the car in Deerfield and jumped from the passenger side door, fleeing into the woods. The car continued on and hit a VSP cruiser “causing significant damage to the driver side door.”

A VSP dog was used to catch the driver, who initially gave police a false name, but Cappola was later identified and police learned that the Jeep had been stolen in Bellows Falls.  Cappola was charged with grossly negligent operation, excessive speed, attempting to elude law enforcement by the VSP. He will also face similar charges in Massachusetts with the addition of operating under the influence. Bellows Falls Police also charged Cappola with grand larceny and aggravated operating without the owner’s consent.

Cappola is being held on $5,000 bail at the Franklin County House of Corrections in Greenfield, Mass.

Agencies involved in the incident include Vermont State Police, Bernardston Police Department, Massachusetts State Police, Gill Police Department, Deerfield Police Department and the Bellows Falls Police Department.

 

 

 

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