WOONSOCKET – A policeman was nearly run over during a brief but wild motor vehicle chase that ended in the arrests of three men, including one who was subdued with a stun gun.
The episode began with a report of a confrontation among patrons who were exiting a bar on Arnold Street shortly after 1 a.m. Sunday. Initial reports led police to believe that the participants might be carrying firearms, but those reports turned out to be unfounded.
As the first officers arrived, Patrolman Matt Burgoine walked toward a white Buick with three men inside who were getting ready to leave the parking area near Arnold and Main streets. He tried to flag down the vehicle, but the operator allegedly gunned the vehicle directly toward him, forcing him to jump out of the way.
Police say there were at least a hundred patrons in the lot at the time, but the vehicle sped dangerously through the crowd. The driver was in such a hurry he jumped a curb and blew out a tire as he drove off.
“The operator of the Buick drove in a manner that jeopardized the lives and safety of all the patrons that were exiting the local bars,” Patrolman Patrick McGourty wrote in a report.
The vehicle pulled over a couple of blocks away in Market Square, where several officers, including McGourty, wrestled violently with two of the occupants in the car before getting them into handcuffs.
Passenger Juan J. Caballero, police said, repeatedly tried to reach for McGourty’s holstered sidearm during the scuffle. McGourty subdued Caballero with a disabling electrical jolt from a hand-held stun gun.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as Josue Manuel Gomez-Sanchez, 18, of 79 Rockridge Drive, Apt. F. He was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, a car; reckless driving and disorderly conduct.
Caballero, 22, of 37 Memorial Drive, was charged with obstructing police, resisting arrest and simple assault for allegedly striking McGourty.
A second passenger in the vehicle, Joel Melendes-Corales, 25, of 168 South Main St., Apt. 1B, was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
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