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iBerkshires.com Columnist Section

Sue Bush
More articles from Sue Bush

Sept. 17 High- Speed Motorcycle Chase

By Susan Bush
12:00AM / Monday, September 18, 2006

Williamstown police Officer Michael Ziemba and "Blue."
North Adams- A 22-year-old Hoosac Street man faces a Sept. 18 Northern Berkshire Court arraignment after a Sept. 17 evening high speed motorcycle chase that involved several communities and three police agencies.

Numerous Charges

City police charged Glenn Williams, 22, of 11 Hoosac St. with one count each of negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for a police officer, driving with a revoked license, with revocation due to being a habitual traffic offender, driving an unregistered vehicle, driving an uninsured vehicle, illegal attachment of license plates, leaving the scene of a property damage accident, trespassing, and being a disorderly person.

Williams was held overnight at the city police station pending arraignment.

Massachusetts State Police also charged with Williams with similar
offenses.

Williams allegedly traveled at very high rates of speed during the chase, Cozzaglio said.

Police Director Michael Cozzaglio said that state police were already pursuing Williams and a passenger when city police saw the 1999 Honda motorcycle travel through the Main and Marshall Street intersection with a state police cruiser following behind.

Passenger On Motorcycle

City police became involved in the chase after Williams stopped briefly at the St. Anthony's parking lot and the passenger jumped off the motorcycle. State police officers stopped to speak with the passenger and city police pursued the motorcycle in an effort to stop Williams.

Cozzaglio said that police reports indicated that the unidentified passenger demanded Williams let him get off of the motorcycle, and Williams did allow that before taking off again.

Chase Through Clarksburg

Williams allegedly traveled at high rates of speed along Lincoln Street and the Veterans Memorial Drive,and he then drove east along Union Street, where he turned northeast onto Beaver Street, and ultimately led police into Clarksburg, Cozzaglio said.

Once in Clarksburg, Williams continued the chase, Cozzaglio said.

Williams drove by Bona's Garage, up the steep and winding Halls Ground hill, past the Clarksburg Volunteer Fire Department fire house and continued to the Cross Roads/West Cross Roads intersection.

Intersection Closed To Traffic

Cozzaglio said Williams went through the intersection and continued traveling south to North Houghton Street before re-entering the city on Houghton Street.

"The pursuing officer, to his credit, had heads-up enough to radio ahead and we were able to shut down the intersection of River and Houghton streets," Cozzaglio said.

Willams continued along Houghton Street and allegedly zipped through the Houghton/River streets intersection without stopping, Cozzaglio said. He sped toward Route 8 [Curran Highway] but a traffic snarl, caused partly by the intersection shutdown, forced Williams to turn right toward the West Main Street Subway sandwich shop.

No Match For "Blue"

A pursuing officer was able to manuever a police cruiser in front of the motorcycle and Williams allegedly struck the cruiser's rear and the motorcycle fell to the ground. Williams then fled on foot across a pedestrian bridge located behind the Mayors' Office of Tourism and Culture. He was seen making his way along train tracks located near the Western Gateway Heritage State Park.

Police contacted the Williamstown Police Department and requested assistance from Williamstown Officer Michael Ziemba and his canine tracking partner "Blue." Cozzaglio said that once on foot, Williams discarded or lost the motorcycle helmet he was wearing as well as one shoe, and those items provided "Blue" with a scent.

"Blue" tracked the scent into a short train tunnel that passes beneath Route 2 near K & M Motors and police found Williams inside the tunnel.

There were no injuries during the pursuit and the cruiser sustained minor damage when the motorcycle struck it, Cozzaglio said.

Cozzaglio said that it is unlikely police would have continued the chase, had Williams not dumped the motorcycle and continued to travel on foot.

"We were at that point where it was time to consider other options and alternatives," Cozzaglio said. "That's what's scary about these situations, the risk to the public, the officers, and property. It is a risk, and for what?"

Susan Bush may be reached via e-mail at suebush@iberkshires.com or at 802-823-9367.



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