Officer Injured in High-Speed Police Chase; Suspect in Custody

The chase apparently began in Walpole and continued into Dedham

A Walpole Police officer was injured after being dragged by a vehicle that led police on a high-speed chase through several Massachusetts towns on Wednesday morning.

The chase began in Walpole and proceeded into several other towns, including Norwood, Westwood, Dedham and Needham. The suspect was eventually taken into custody in West Roxbury after he crashed the vehicle and it burst into flames.

Matt Crown
A photo of Walpole Police officer Matt Crown

Only necn's cameras were rolling when 26-year-old Michael LeBlanc was led into an ambulance. He will be under suicide watch until his arraignment Thursday morning.

Walpole Police Chief John Carmichael said police received a call at 10:19 a.m. for a suspicious person off Washington Street on a man-made dam behind the Walpole Country Club. 

Police arrived at the scene and encountered a man who immediately got into the vehicle parked on top of the dam.

Officer Matt Crown approached the vehicle and began talking to the man, at which point the man turned the vehicle on and closed the window, pinning the officer's hand inside. The man then drove off, dragging Crown 300 feet, at speeds up to 30 mph, before the officer was able to free himself.

Crown was transported to Brigham & Women's Faulkner Hospital in Boston with wrist and other injuries, but has since been released.

"He's doing fine," Carmichael said. "He had x-rays done and there doesn't appear to be any break."

Crown, an Army veteran, has been with the Walpole Police Department for five years. He is a motorcycle officer and a member of the SWAT team.

Leblanc is facing multiple charges. Carmichael said those charges have not been finalized yet, but they are expected to include assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and numerous motor vehicle charges.

Leblanc is expected to be arraigned in Wrentham District Court on Thursday morning. It's not clear if he has an attorney.

Walpole Police
Michael A. Leblanc.

Carmichael said it is still under investigation why Leblanc fled. "He may have been involved in some criminal act in the last few days, including an armed robbery. We're still trying to confirm that."

The chief said Leblanc did make some statements to officers during booking indicating that he might have been attempting to commit "suicide by cop.

"He asked what he had to do to get shot by police," Carmichael said. "Whatever's going on in his life right now caused him to make a statement like that."

LeBlanc was arrested in 2015 for assault and battery on a household member and witness intimidation.

According to documents from Brockton District Court, LeBlanc's address is listed on Warren Avenue. Neighbors there say he lived in an apartment there with his mother.

"He did a lot of good things out in this community and everyone respects him out here works hard for his money," said Dwayne Curtis. "I don't know what happened today."

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