Massachusetts State Police will review the level of force used during the arrest of a man who led police in a one-hour cross-state car chase through Massachusetts up to New Hampshire. The violent arrest of 50-year-old Richard Simone, who was wanted on multiple arrest warrants, was caught unfolding on video, prompting the investigation.
The hour-long car chase began around 4pm EDT (9pm BST), when Simone refused to stop for police in Holden, Massachusetts. Simone, who is known to police and has warrants including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and larceny, led police through Concord, Littleton, Chelmsford, Billerica, Nashua, Hudson and several smaller towns in between, WCVB reported on Thursday (12 May).
The suspect from Worcester, Massachusetts, reportedly reached top speeds of up to 90mph, with police forced to use their vehicles to bump into the suspect's pickup truck. The bump caused Simone to slide into a telephone pole but it did not stop him from continuing to drive. He was eventually arrested by Nashua Police, in Hughey Street, about an hour after the chase began, according to CBS News.
Aerial news footage of the arrest shows Simone stepping out of the truck and kneeling on the ground as officers surrounded him. The struggle between the officers and the suspect reportedly lasted at least 15 seconds, before the officer lifts Simone to his feet and pushes him against his truck while officers appear to search him. He is then taken to a Nashua Police SUV, WCVB also reported.
"The pursuit, like all pursuits that involve Massachusetts State Police, will be reviewed by the department's pursuit committee," Massachusetts State Police spokesman David Procopio said in a statement. "Additionally, MSP will also review the apprehension of the suspect, to determine whether the level of force deployed during the arrest was appropriate."
Procopio added, "We will conduct a separate departmental review of the actual apprehension, as the video captured by news helicopters shows a use of force against the suspect. That review will investigate whether the level of force used was appropriate given the totality of the circumstances."
Several law enforcement agencies were involved in the pursuit, so it is unclear which department or departments the officers involved were a part of, CBS News stated.
"It does appear that he's complying with the officers' orders. Until they start to move very close to him, there doesn't appear to be a problem," WBZ-TV Security Analyst and former Boston Police Commissionerm Ed Davis, said. "What happened in those last seconds is going to be crucial to this investigation. But clearly, this is a tough video."
In a statement to the media, Hudson Police stated its officers were not involved in the pursuit into Nashua, New Hampshire or with the suspect's resulting arrest. WCVB also reported that Simone will face additional charges relating to the chase, along with the previous arrest warrant charges he faced.