It’s been a few weeks since I wrote about any real serious incidents downtown. Even St. Patrick’s Day, on a Saturday, went fairly smoothly. Ever since the City Council recommended strict new rules for downtown bars, things have been pretty quiet.
But things got pretty rough early Sunday morning.
Police were moving along bar crowds on Merrimack Street at 1:54 a.m., when officers noticed a fight on Lee Street between a group of men on foot and a group of four men in a gray Nissan Murano. Officers told the driver of the Murano to pull to the curb so they could talk about the fight.
The driver of the Murano instead accelerated directly at one of the officers, according to Capt. Randall Humphrey.
“The officer had to jump out of the way to avoid being struck,” Humphrey said.
From there the Murano went onto John Street and Merrimack, before circling back around on Kirk Street and then French Street. On French Street, the Murano crashed into the front left of a Lowell Police cruiser, and still didn’t stop, according to Humphrey.
The captain told me the Murano accelerated, lifting the front end of the cruiser off the ground.
“He basically pushed the cruiser out of the way and took off again,” Humphrey said.
The officer in the cruiser was treated at Saints Medical Center for what was described as a minor injury.
The Murano fled up Father Morissette Boulevard, across the Textile Memorial Bridge on University Avenue, and onto the VFW Highway, where it eventually crashed into a guardrail and stalled, enabling police to surround the vehicle and make an arrest.
Three passengers were not charged, but Humphrey said the Murano’s driver, Roath Long, 23, of 31 Royal St., Lawrence, was charged with failure to stop for police, operating to endanger, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a dangerous weapon, leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.
He also had a default warrant in connection with an OUI case.
By Sunday night, despite having a default warrant, Long had been released on bail.