Afternoon manhunt comes up empty; police in two states search for Vermont man

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2019 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Zachariah McAllister

An extensive, two-state manhunt came up empty today as police agencies from Vermont and New Hampshire searched for a wanted Westminster man. As of 6:30 tonight, police on both sides of the Connecticut River were asking the public for help.

According to a Walpole, N.H., Police press release, at approximately 10:30 a.m an alert was received for a silver Mercedes with Vermont plates. That vehicle had fled from a motor vehicle stop in Brattleboro. The Mercedes was reported to be driven by a Zachariah A. McAllister, 28, of Westminster.

Twenty minutes later, Officer Roger Landry of the Walpole Police Department, saw the Mercedes going north on Route 12 in Walpole at an estimated speed of more than 100 miles per hour. Attempting to make make a right turn onto South Street in Walpole, the Mercedes collided with a white 2017, Nissan Sentra, driven by a 72-year-old woman from Walpole.

According to the press release, after crashing his vehicle, McAllister fled the crash scene on foot. Walpole police  locked down the Village of Walpole, including businesses and schools as police searched for the suspect. At about 2:30 p.m. the search shifted to Vermont because police believed McAllister had crossed the Connecticut River.

According to scanner traffic at the time, police searched areas including Westminster Heights Road, School Street in Westminster and Holton Farm. On tips from employees at the farm, police checked the barns and cornfields before ending up on the railroad tracks near the river. At one point, a Vermont State Police trooper asked dispatchers to call Amtrak and ask that they go slow in the area for the safety of police.

In addition to foot and car searches, a New Hampshire State Police helicopter and dogs from two police departments were used but McAllister who has outstanding warrants from Vermont and Massachusetts, somehow slipped away.

If anyone has any information on Zacharia McAllister or the incident, is asked to contact the Walpole Police Department at (603) 445-2058 or by emailing walpolepd@walpolenh.us or call the Westminster State Police Barracks at 802-722-4600.

In addition to Walpole Police and Vermont State Police, the Walpole Fire Department, Cheshire County Sheriffs Department, New Hampshire State Police, New Hampshire Fish and Game, Vermont Fish and Game, Alstead, Charlestown, Chesterfield, Keene and Troy, N.H., and, from Vermont, the State Police and Bellows Falls and Chester, Police departments. The Keene Police Department responded with the Cheshire County High Risk Response Vehicle and the New Hampshire State Police Police provided the helicopter support. Sgt. Mario Checchi of the Bellows Falls Police Department and Chief Rick Cloud of the Chester Police Department assisted with their dogs.

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