A man driving a 2021 Jeep Gladiator led Nantucket Police on a high-speed chase going the wrong way down Main Street before crashing into a parked car, fleeing the wreck, and attempting to hide from the pursuing officers.
The wild episode unfolded just after midnight on Saturday, Oct. 29, and ended on Union Street where three vehicles needed to be towed away, and the injured suspect was apprehended after being found by police hiding in tall grass of the backyard of a residence at 3 Union Street.
The details of the incident were revealed in a police report obtained by the Current through a Freedom of Information Act request.
The chase began on Pleasant Street after Nantucket Police Department officers Farrell Duce and Nicholas Iacozzi spotted the Jeep Gladiator with Connecticut plates driving at a high rate of speed - 45 mph in an area where the speed limit is posted at 25 mph. When the Jeep failed to stop at a stop sign and took a right onto Main Street, they activated the emergency blue lights on their cruiser and pursued the Jeep.
The driver ignored the cruiser and continued driving toward the downtown area, according to the report. When he reached the top of Main Street, the driver continued going the wrong-way toward South Water Street. Police continued to follow as the vehicle proceeded to drive the wrong way down Candle Street, Salem Street, and finally Union Street in the wrong direction at a high rate of speed, before crashing into a parked 2010 Toyota Highlander. The impact was so powerful, it pushed the Highlander back into a 2018 Ford pickup, which also sustained heavy damage.
The driver then jumped out of the damaged Jeep Gladiator and ran behind the home at 3 Union Street. A group of responding officers found him "laying in tall grass in (an) attempt to conceal himself." After he was taken into custody, the man started complaining that his knee had been hurt in the crash, and an ambulance was called to take him to the hospital.
He later told police that "when he saw the blue lights, he got nervous and ran."
Heavy rescue apparatus arrived to deal with the three wrecked cars, all of which were eventually towed away from the scene.
The driver - who had his name redacted from the police report - was issued a summons to appear in court on charges of negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, leaving the scene of property damage, speeding, a one-way violation, and a stop-sign violation.
He has not yet been arraigned in Nantucket District Court.