On Thursday, August 26, 2010 shortly after noon, Needham police officers became involved in a foot pursuit on Rivard Road in Needham. The suspect they were chasing had fled from a motor vehicle stop near Needham Square. The wanted suspect, identified as John Boyle, 22, had outstanding arrest warrants from Wrentham District Court. One warrant was for attempted murder.
As the search for the suspect began, Needham requested assistance from the Wellesley Police Department. Sergeants Whittemore and Atwood, Detective McLaughlin, Officer Chris Cunningham and Dispatcher Tim Gover all responded to the scene in Needham and were deployed in the area that the suspect was last seen running on foot. Assistance calls like these are referred to as "Mutual Aid" and allow officers, in emergency situations, to respond to other towns to augment staffing levels rapidly.
As the search for the suspect intensified through residential neighborhoods, the Massachusetts State Police Airwing sent a helicopter to search the backyards. Police K9 search dogs from the Braintree and Randolph Police Departments also arrived on the scene. Wellesley dispatcher Tim Gover assisted with the coordination efforts in the Metropolitan Law Enforcement Council's (METROLEC) command post.
Back in Wellesley, Officer Lamar Hughes, a 17 year veteran Wellesley Police officer assigned to the day shift, was monitoring the search on his cruiser radio. Wellesley Police cruisers are equipped with radios that can monitor and communicate with neighboring towns. This is a very important tool, and allows for seamless communications between police officers in the field from any department.
Many times, a Wellesley Police officer will be monitoring a developing situation in a neighboring town, and place themselves in an advantageous position, should the situation enter Wellesley. A notable example of this was earlier this summer when Dispatcher Bobby Rowe, Chief of Police Cunningham, and Officer Ty Mao monitored a motorcycle pursuit in Natick that quickly entered Wellesley. The suspect was caught after a brief foot chase on Cleveland Road by the Chief of Police. The key to this capture was the effective positioning of Wellesley Police officers prior to the pursuit entering Wellesley. This positioning was only possible by officers and dispatchers monitoring the Natick Police department on the radio.
Meanwhile, Officer Hughes continued to monitor the search in Needham, and patrolled the area of Grove Street near Central Street (Needham) on the town line. Officer Hughes was also able to view a photo of the wanted suspect on his cruiser's laptop computer. The suspect's photo was provided by Wellesley Police Dispatchers Sarah Walsh and Bobby Rowe, who distributed it to all the officers working the search.
Officer Hughes noticed a blue Chevy vehicle pulling out of Marked Tree Road onto Central Avenue in Needham. As the vehicle passed by him, Officer Hughes noticed the passenger in the vehicle matched the description and looked similar to the suspect's photo on his cruiser laptop. As Officer Hughes started after the car to investigate, a citizen in Needham reported that a suspicious male, matching the description of the suspect, had just fled from a wooded area and jumped into a blue Chevy near where the search was ongoing. This information was relayed on the Needham and Wellesley Police radio channels.
Officer Hughes realized that he was already following the suspect vehicle, and the passenger in the vehicle was the wanted suspect. The vehicle then entered the town of Dover, and Officer Hughes learned that the registration to the vehicle was not valid due to an insurance lapse. The vehicle then approached Dover center, where Officer Hughes initiated a motor vehicle stop. Officer Hughes, although now in Dover, still had his full police powers. This was due to an agreement that the Wellesley Police Department and Dover Police had signed in the past. The agreement gives both police department members full police powers, whether they are operating in Dover or Wellesley.
As Officer Hughes pulled the vehicle over, the passenger leaped out of the car through the passenger window. A Dover Police officer was arriving on scene at the same time, and the passenger was detained. The passenger was then immediately identified as the suspect wanted from Needham. The suspect was placed under arrest and taken to the Dover Police station for booking without incident.
Further investigation revealed that the suspect, after fleeing from Needham officers, called a friend on a cellular phone to come and pick him up. The suspect would have made his escape had it not been for the actions and observations of Officer Hughes. Excellent communications between Needham, Dover, and the Wellesley Police departments also made this a safe, efficient arrest.
This event marks the third time in less than a month that Wellesley Police officers have worked closely with police officers in Dover to solve crimes and resolve situations. The first incident was a search for a suspect in Dover wanted for a residential break-in near Main Street approximately 3 weeks ago. In that case, Sgt. Scott Whittemore, with Officers Ron Poirier and Christopher Fritts assisted Dover with the search. That suspect was located by Dover Police Sergeant Mick and subsequently arrested without incident. Wellesley Police dispatchers Kathy Connors and Sarah Walsh also provided support to Dover Police officer Chaisson as he worked to coordinate the search from the Dover Police station.
In the second incident, Sergeant Jeffrey Renzella responded to Glen Street in Dover after a Dover Police officer was assaulted by a violent suspect during a traffic stop on the midnight shift. The Dover officer suffered minor injuries and the suspect was taken into custody at the scene. Sergeant Renzella was able to monitor the situation and learned the officer was indeed injured while still responding to the call. Sgt. Renzella was the second officer to arrive in that critically dangerous call. Good communications was the key factor in these events.