A Danvers couple is facing several charges after they allegedly burglarized a Woburn home while their five young children were in the getaway car, Police Chief Robert J. Ferullo Jr. announced today.
Woburn Police today identified the suspects as Salina J. Pasquarello, 26, and Ralph M. Pasquarello, 39, both of Danvers.
Police were called to a home on Mayflower Road in Woburn around 5:30 p.m. on Friday for a report of a suspicious man walking around the house. According to police, when officers arrived at the scene, they found a basement door open and Ralph M. Pasquarello inside. He then fled the house, Woburn police said in a statement.
Officers ordered him to the ground, but he struggled, swung his arms at officers, and ran off and got into a minivan down the road, police said. The van then drove off and led Woburn police on a high-speed chase into Lexington at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour, according to police. The vehicle later came to a stop and upon approaching the van, officers found five children, all under age 7, inside.
Police identified Salina J. Pasquarello as the driver of the vehicle. Police previously withheld the names of both suspects because of the sensitivity of the case involving their children.
“This is a deeply disturbing case that we allege involves a husband and wife committing felonies, with the wife driving a getaway car packed with their young children,” Chief Ferullo said in a statement. “These suspects clearly showed reckless disregard for the well being of their children, especially as the mother sped away from police and nearly crashed into several cars before she was caught. This day could have ended much, much worse, and we are just grateful that these children were not injured.”
The couple was charged with multiple felonies, including breaking and entering, theft, and larceny. Each was also charged with five counts of child endangerment and failure to stop for police. Ralph M. Pasquarello was also charged with felony vandalism, two counts of resisting arrest, and two counts of assault and battery on a police officer. He was being held on bail. Salina J. Pasquarello was also charged with negligent operation of a motor vehicle. She was released on bail late Friday.
The children were taken to Woburn Police Headquarters, where authorities notified the Department of Children and Families. WCVB reports the children were removed from the family, with the department citing prior involvment with the family.
Police believe Ralph M. Pasquarello may have been trying to steal a television inside the home. According to police, when they were chasing him, he threw an object from his pocket onto the ground. The object was later identified as a remote control that matched a high definition television in the home. The homeowner later told police the television had been moved from its usual location.
Police said the investigation is ongoing. Both suspects are expected to be arraigned next week in Woburn District Court.