06/09/2007

Drug suspect tries to run over Mass. officers

By Nicole Sequino
Berkshire Eagle Staff
 
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A 25-year-old Pittsfield man was charged with assaulting four city police officers with his car Tuesday after they attempted to arrest him for selling cocaine.

Wesley S. Williamson, of Appleton Avenue, pleaded not guilty in Central Berkshire District Court on Wednesday to four counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and single counts of cocaine distribution, driving with a suspended license, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, resisting arrest and leaving the scene of property damage stemming from the incident.

Judge D. Ross ordered that Williamson be held at the Berkshire County Jail & House of Correction on $25,000 cash bail or $250,000 surety bond.

Pittsfield Police, state police and members of the Berkshire County drug task force set up a controlled drug buy through an undercover informant on Tuesday, according to Investigator Michael Nykorchuck's report.

Williamson allegedly arrived in a black 2000 Honda Accord at an undisclosed location in Pittsfield and sold the informant the drugs, Nykorchuck said.

As soon as the informant walked away from Williamson's car, an arrest team moved in to take Williamson into police custody, Nykorchuck said.

Williamson allegedly drove his car in reverse and rammed into Pittsfield Police Detective Glenn F. Decker's unmarked car, which was blocking the end of the driveway. Trooper William Scott, of the Massachusetts State Police Berkshire Narcotic Unit, was a front-seat passenger in the car, Nykorchuck said.

The impact broke the passenger front wheel from the tie rod, damaged the right front passenger door and may have totaled the car, Nykorchuck noted.

Williamson then allegedly drove forward directly at Trooper Glenn Lagerwall and North Adams Police Investigator John LeClair, who were standing in the driveway. Lagerwall had to jump out of the way to avoid being run over, Nykorchuck said.

Williamson allegedly continued speeding across the side lawn, struck State Police Sgt. David Foley's cruiser head on and cut his vehicle to the right. Foley, however, drove his cruiser into the driver's side front wheel of Williamson's car to stop him from escaping, Nykorchuck said, and Decker pulled his car behind Williamson's, pinning his car to a stop.

Williamson was pulled out of his car through the passenger door and arrested.

"It should be noted that all officers were wearing their police vests and displaying their respective department's badges for the attempted arrest," Nykorchuck said. "(Williamson) risked the lives of the police officers, himself, and any civilians who may have driven or walked near the scene, by attempting to flee."

Williamson will appear for a pretrial hearing July 6. 

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