SOMERSET– Chief George McNeil reports that the Somerset Police Department charged two Fall River men who fled from officers during a traffic stop and from the scene of a crash on Sunday.
KEVIN PLOUDE, AGE 33, OF FALL RIVER, was arrested and charged with:
- Assault by Firearm
- Failure to Stop for Police
- Negligent Operation of a Motor Vehicle
- Receiving Stolen Property
- Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended License
SCOTT HAZEL, AGE 36, OF FALL RIVER, was issued a summons to appear in court and charged with Receiving Stolen Property.
At approximately 1:20 p.m. on Sunday, July 19, officers were dispatched to Somerset Creamery, 146 Country St., for a report of two men in a 2001 Chevrolet Blazer parked in the parking lot, allegedly acting suspiciously. Officers arrived and spoke with the two men, later identified as PLOUDE and HAZEL, and sent them on their way after questioning them about why the rear license plate of the vehicle was not attached, but in the back seat.
While PLOUDE was driving out of the parking lot, the officers ran a check on the vehicle’s registration and learned that PLOUDE had a suspended license. The officers attempted to pull the vehicle over after PLOUDE left the parking lot a short distance down the road.
The vehicle was stopped on the on-ramp to the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge and as an officer approached the vehicle, he noticed PLOUDE holding a handgun. As the officer continue to approach the vehicle PLOUDE then sped off at a high rate of speed heading south on Davol Street into Fall River.
Officers pursued the vehicle but terminated the pursuit a short time later after PLOUDE reached speeds of over 80 miles per hour and drove through a red light at the intersection of President Avenue and Davol Street.
As the officer continued down Davol Street at a normal rate of speed, he noticed a group of people yelling for help near the Cove Restaurant and Marina. PLOUDE had lost control of the vehicle, causing it to roll over and came to a stop in the middle of the road.
Both PLOUDE and HAZEL fled from the vehicle on foot. Video later obtained by police showed that after PLOUDE began to run from the vehicle, he turned back to retrieve the handgun on the ground and then fled again.
A short time later, HAZEL was found walking on Route 79 and taken into custody without incident by the Somerset and Fall River police departments. HAZEL was brought to a local hospital to be evaluated and treated for injuries that he sustained during the crash. The injuries are not believed to be life-threatening.
A witness told police that PLOUDE jumped off the boardwalk and into the Taunton River. Officers tracking his whereabouts discovered fresh footprints leading down a tunnel underneath the boardwalk that had a sewer pipe opening. Somerset Police K9 Officer Jared Linhares and his partner Viepo extensively checked the area, with the assistance of the Fall River Harbor Master and a Fall River Fire Department boat, but were unable to locate PLOUDE or the firearm.
The vehicle was towed from the scene and several items believed to have been stolen from local businesses were found inside.
At approximately 6 p.m. that night, a Fall River Police officer was approached by a person near the boardwalk who said that a person matching PLOUDE’S description was walking nearby and was very wet. PLOUDE was located by officers and fled again before being taken into custody following a foot pursuit. He was brought to a local hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries. After his release he was taken to the Somerset Police station to be booked and he declined to take part in the booking process.
PLOUDE is expected to be arraigned today at Fall River District Court and HAZEL will be arraigned at a later date.
Chief McNeil would like to commend his officers and thank the Fall River Police Department for their assistance in the investigation.
These are allegations. All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.