Mass. police shoot beanbags at armed man
Patricia J. James, TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
Copyright 2006 Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Inc.
State police yesterday shot a man with what they termed "less lethal munitions" after he was pulled over for speeding on Interstate 495, exited his vehicle while carrying a firearm and began walking away, and refused a trooper's order to stop. Pedro J. Rivera, 21, of Brigantine, N.J., faces charges of possession of a handgun (two counts), possession of ammunition, disorderly conduct and failure to submit.
State police shot Mr. Rivera with small beanbags from a shotgun when he failed to comply with a trooper's verbal commands. The injuries were not life-threatening, state police said.
According to Sgt. Scott Range, the highway was shut down about 5 p.m. in the area of Route 9 and Simarano Drive in Marlboro 10 minutes after the trooper stopped the Chevrolet HHR on I-495 South just north of Route 9 for speeding and following too closely.
After the vehicle pulled over, Mr. Rivera began walking away from the trooper in the breakdown lane, according to Sgt. Range. He said Mr. Rivera failed to comply with the trooper's verbal commands and continued walking away. The trooper saw the firearm and state police shut down both sides of the highway. Police also shut down some adjoining roads and set up a perimeter around Mr. Rivera, he said. According to Sgt. Range, members of the state police special tactics and operations team as well as the state police canine section and the state police crisis negotiators went to the scene.
Police departments from surrounding towns were also contacted
to help with traffic and ensure no residents wandered through the woods onto the interstate, he said.
Mr. Rivera was arrested in Westboro by the STOP team at 5:50 p.m., according to Sgt. Range. He was then taken by ambulance to UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus in Worcester, according to Sgt. Range, and the road was reopened about 6 p.m.
About 20 minutes earlier, several southbound cars on I-495 in Marlboro crossed the median to get in the northbound lanes to avoid the standstill traffic. Sgt. Range said nobody was injured and police recovered the firearm as well as a second one as part of the investigation.
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