Chelsea man arrested after chase and crash in Lebanon

Submitted a year ago
Created by
Eric Francis

Pursuit took place on Interstate 89 Wednesday afternoon

LEBANON, NH - A Chelsea, Vermont man who led a Lebanon police officer on a high-speed pursuit down the southbound lanes of Interstate 89 late Wednesday afternoon until he crashed his smoking car through the fencing in front of the State Weigh Station is facing several charges as a result.

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    Michael Polito, 28, is being charged with misdemeanor counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated, reckless conduct, reckless operation, disobeying an officer and conduct after an accident.  Polito's bail was set at $10,000 and he was transported to the Grafton County House of Corrections pending his formal arrangement, Lebanon Police Chief Richard Mello said in a statement issued Saturday.

    Police said Wednesday's pursuit began just after 5 p.m. when Lebanon Police Officer Dan Gaspard, who was traveling south on Plainfield Road, observed a black Ford Mustang exit one of the shopping plaza's parking lots at a recklessly high rate of speed, accelerating rapidly as it slid sideways across two lanes.

    Officer Gaspard activated his blue lights and attempted to stop the Mustang, but he said Polito began to flee, turning off of Plainfield Road momentarily in an attempt to elude him before traveling back onto Plainfield Road and then attempting to zoom up the on-ramp at Exit 20 onto the interstate but not before Polito spun out on the on-ramp and side swiped another vehicle, flattening a rear tire on the Mustang in the process.  

    The heavily smoking Mustang took off south down I-89 passing a number of cars with Gaspard in pursuit until it reached the sharp curve that is just around the corner for Exit 18 leading to downtown Lebanon.  At that point Polito lost control and crashed through the fencing in front of the State Weigh Station.  Polito was not injured in the crash and was taken into custody moments later without further incident.

Michael Polito, 28, of Chelsea, Vermont is facing several charges, including aggravated DUI, stemming from the police chase

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