Half-Hour High Speed Chase from Rockingham to Putney to Saxtons River on Saturday afternoon
Even after hitting spike strip the car went for miles on three tire rims
ROCKINGHAM - Wearing a t-shirt reading "Only God Can Judge Me," a Bellows Falls man led a state trooper on a 28-minute-long chase Saturday afternoon with speeds that ranged well over a hundred miles per hour at times before he finally pulled over on his one remaining tire and surrendered without further incident.
Corey Betit, 28, who has a lengthy arrest record, much of it drug related, was being held Saturday night at the Springfield jail for lack of $5,000 bail and is due to appear in court Monday in Brattleboro to answer charges of attempting to elude police, grossly negligent operation of a vehicle, excessive speed and driving despite a suspended license.
Saturday's incident began around 4:20 p.m. when Trooper Bryson Lunderville tried to pull over a black Mercedes with Maine license plates for speeding near the state highway garage on Route 103 in Rockingham. Instead, Lunderville reported, the car took off to the south at a high rate of speed, eventually making its way onto River Road with police cars from several surrounding agencies, including Walpole, New Hampshire joining in the pursuit.
A trooper got out ahead of the fast changing situation and deployed a "spike strip" across River Road next to the Landmark College campus and officers said Betit hit it squarely, dropping down to speeds of about 40 mph as he travelled through Putney's tiny downtown and took a turn onto Westminster West Road, but even though his tires were coming apart and chunks of rubber were flying, police said he picked up speed at times running the pursuit back up to 70 mph.
Eventually, as even more cruisers were joining the chase and the Mercedes was running on three metal rims with only the driver's side rear tire remaining, Betit reportedly put on his hazard lights and then pulled over to the side of the road near the Saxtons River town line where he was swiftly taken into custody at gun point.
Police seized the Mercedes and had it towed from the scene with the expectation that they will likely apply to a judge for a warrant to search it in the days ahead.
As a teenager in Springfield Betit was charged with breaking into the Glass 4 Life headshop in the middle of the night and allegedly stealing $10,000 worth of glass bongs and marijuana pipes.
In 2013 Betit allegedly admitted to police that he had been smoking crack rocks and violating his curfew when they caught him wearing a ski mask and breaking into cars in the middle of the night in downtown Springfield. That same year he was one of three dozen suspected Springfield drug dealers arrested as part of the "Operation Precision Valley" heroin arrest sweep and, after his arraignment for that, while he was supposed to be at home observing a strict curfew he was chased around on foot through downtown Springfield by police officers over the course of two hours before he was finally arrested and taken into custody. In the affidavit accompanying that arrest Springfield police wrote that Betit had allegedly confessed to having ingested bath salts and opioid pills right before his arrest.
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