A 25-year-old man was arrested in Swansea Tuesday afternoon after going on an alleged crime spree that included crashing into two police cruisers and then fleeing, hiding in the forest after getting into a second accident, and eventually being struck by a pick-up truck when he tried to cross Interstate 195 from the woods, State Police said.
The incident began around 1:30 p.m. when Fall River police attempted to apprehend Cleveland Clay on a warrant for a domestic-related charge. In an attempt to evade police, Clay, of Fall River, struck two of their cruisers with his vehicle and fled toward Westport, said David Procopio, State Police spokesman. Westport police chased Clay onto I-195 but lost sight of him.
Later, Clay crashed his vehicle — likely into a guardrail — near Route 24 and I-195 westbound, Procopio said. Clay abandoned the vehicle and entered a wooded area between the two highways.
After hiding, Clay came back out of the woods, and ran across I-195, where he was struck by the pick-up. The driver pulled over, saw that Clay was suffering from a leg injury, and agreed to take him to a hospital, Procopio said.
A woman driving by was puzzled by the incident and reported to police that she saw a gold Dodge Ram hit a man and then drive him westbound on I-195 and over the Braga Bridge.
State Troopers then set up to intercept the vehicle further up I-195 on the Somerset/Swansea line.
After pulling the vehicle over, the troopers “observed the passenger with the seat all the way back, trying to stay out of view,” the State Police spokesman said.
The troopers approached the vehicle at gunpoint and had the driver step out, Procopio said. Troopers realized the passenger was injured, and took Clay out of the vehicle and got him into an ambulance that went to Rhode Island Hospital, where he placed under police custody.
Procopio said it appeared Clay was suffering from a broken leg, but he was in stable condition.
After the stop, the driver told troopers that Clay had hidden a .380 caliber pistol under his dashboard. Fall River police determined that Clay did not have a license for the handgun.Fall River police also found a bag of crack cocaine in Clay’s abandoned vehicle, they said.
The driver was not arrested, as he was not aware of the criminal situation.
Additional charges against Clay will be handled by Fall River police, but have not yet been made, Procopio said. Although he added that Clay will likely face charges for reckless operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, as well as drug and firearm charges.Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at email@example.com.