Driver in high-speed chase will be charged with attempted murder, police say

Firefighters sprayed a car that caught fire after a high-speed chase outside Boston. The driver fled on foot but was taken into police custody, authorities said.
Firefighters spray a car that caught fire after a high-speed chase outside Boston. The driver fled on foot but was taken into police custody. –Keith Bedford / The Boston Globe

The driver who led police on a high-speed chase through several Massachusetts towns before his car went up in flames on Wednesday is expected to be charged with attempted murder and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael said in a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

Michael Leblanc is in custody after a pursuit through multiple jurisdictions.
Michael Leblanc is in custody after a pursuit through multiple jurisdictions. —Walpole Police Department

Michael LeBlanc, 28, of Abington, is being held at the Walpole Police Station and is on suicide watch, police said. He is expected to be arraigned Thursday at Wrentham District Court.

The chase began just before 10:20 a.m. when Walpole officers Matthew Crown and Gaelen Beberman responded to a call of a suspicious person located near a dam off Washington Street. When the officers approached a vehicle to question the man, he suddenly turned on the car and closed a window, pinning Crown’s wrist. Crown was dragged about 300 yards at about 30 mph before he was freed, according to Carmichael. He said the officers then got back in their cruiser and were the lead officers for most of the pursuit.

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Crown was later treated at Faulkner Hospital and has since been released.

The chase took place on stretches of Routes 128, 9, 135, and 1, ending just off of VFW Parkway in West Roxbury. Carmichael said LeBlanc’s car reached speeds as high as 80 mph. It was all captured on live TV.

At one point during the chase, LeBlanc allegedly accelerated directly toward officers trying to stop the pursuit.

He crashed and abandoned his car in West Roxbury just before it burst into flames, police said.  The Boston Fire Department was called to the scene to extinguish the fire. According to police, LeBlanc then fled on foot and Dedham police arrested him inside an apartment off the VFW Parkway.

LeBlanc made numerous comments asking what he had to do to get shot by police, Carmichael said during the conference.

LeBlanc is also a suspect in an investigation into home break-ins in the area. Carmichael said, during the investigation, police recovered a black duffle-bag from LeBlanc’s car that contained tools and money.

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