A West Springfield police officer shot out the tires of a stolen DPW truck over the weekend after the man driving the vehicle allegedly tried to run down the responding officers.
"They ordered the operator to stop, he wouldn't," said West Springfield Police Chief Ronald Campurciani. "He was getting stuck in some of the ruts because there was still a lot of snow at that point. He tried to run over two of the officers, at one point, tried to pin an officer between his truck and the officer's cruiser."
Sunday morning West Springfield police located the stolen truck at First Niagara Bank on Westfield Street.
"One of the officers, they went up to the car, they tried to get the operator out of the vehicle," said Campurciani. "He wouldn't come out. They sprayed him with OC spray, that had no effect on him. He then pushed the officers out of the truck, shut the door, locked it and tried to run over to officers again."
That's when patrolman Brian Battisa shot at the truck's tires in an attempt to stop the suspect.
"He used some quick thinking and some ingenuity in that case because, like I said, deadly force would have been justified at that point," said Campurciani.
After shooting at the tires, the truck stopped and police were able to gain control of the suspect.
"It disabled the truck," said Campurciani. "It wasn't able to go any further. Officers then had to go in, smash the window, continue to fight with him and finally got him under control."
Through the process one of the officers, Daniel Distefano, sustained a minor hand injury.
Police found jewelry inside of the stolen car.
"There was a couple of diamond necklaces, so we think that he may have been in the process of breaking into a home or had just broken into some homes," said Campurciani.
Police arrested the suspect, Wayne Mecteau. He is facing charges including multiple counts of assault and battery by means of a dangerous weapon, the truck, and resisting arrest.
Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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