For Immediate Release
Monday, Nov. 24, 2014
Contact: John Guilfoil
Merrimac Police Arrest Two Men After They Flee the Scene of a Crash Saturday Night
MERRIMAC — Police Chief Eric M. Shears reports that the Merrimac Police Department arrested two men who allegedly fled the scene of a motor vehicle crash on Saturday evening.
As a result of the police investigation, NATHAN SAUTHER, AGE 31, OF SALISBURY and JOSHUA WHITNEY, AGE 25, OF ALLSTON were charged with:
- Wanton Destruction of Property Over $250, a Felony
- Leaving the Scene of an Accident with Property Damage
- Disorderly Conduct
Merrimac Police and Fire were dispatched to a reported motor vehicle accident on West Main Street on Saturday at 11:33 p.m. Arriving units found a gray Nissan sedan with Massachusetts plates that was parked against a tree. The vehicle was still running, and the heat from its exhaust system had caught some leaves and brush on fire, which was extinguished by a local resident who came upon the crash and called 911. The driver of the vehicle was nowhere to be found.
The resident who called 911 told police that two men ran from the scene, one wearing a light-colored baseball cap and a light-colored jacket, and the other wearing a dark hat and dark jacket.
The car was registered to a woman with a Salisbury address, but the phone number listed for her was disconnected, and Salisbury Police determined that she no longer lived at the listed address for the vehicle.
Merrimac Police requested assistance from the Amesbury Police Department K-9 Unit and the Massachusetts State Police were notified.
The Amesbury Police K-9 tracked the scent through a field near 100 West Main St., where the K-9 found an unopened beer can and a white baseball cap. As the K-9 continued to track the scent, it located the suspects below an embankment, in a marsh, near Rt. 495. SAUTHER and WHITNEY were taken into custody and booked at the Merrimac Police Department.
Neither suspect has a valid driver’s license. A partial 30-pack of beer was located inside the vehicle.
“We will aggressively pursue those who put our residents in danger and destroy property in our community,” Chief Shears said. “We have an amazing level of cooperation among municipal police departments in the region, and I want to especially thank the Amesbury Police Department K-9 unit for tracking these two individuals, leading to their arrest.”
Both suspects were released on bail and will be arraigned on Tuesday in Newburyport District Court. Additional charges may be forthcoming.