A New Hampshire man is facing numerous charges after he allegedly carjacked two different vehicles and was involved in four hit-and-run crashes in three different municipalities while driving drunk on Tuesday morning, according to police.
Anthony Plourde, 22, of Manchester, is charged with multiple counts of felony receiving stolen property, felony reckless conduct, felony conduct after an accident, misdemeanor conduct after an accident and driving while intoxicated, according to police.
Manchester police say they responded to the Gulf Express on Main Street around 9 a.m. They spoke with a man who said he was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Granite and Second streets when a man, later identified as Plourde, armed with a stake tried to order him out of his vehicle.
When the victim refused, Plourde allegedly used the stake to damage his mirror and fled on foot toward Main Street. The victim tried to follow him but lost sight of him around the area of West High School.
Police say Plourde then encountered Doreen Betts, who had just left her car warming up in the driveway.
"All of a sudden, this person ran around the corner," Betts said. "Jumped in my car and rammed it up the street. He was gone. I couldn't believe it."
The 74-year-old was stunned.
"Because I'm old, I couldn't move fast enough," she said. "If I had been able to move, he would have had my fist in his face."
Plourde then allegedly crashed Betts' car into a building and a utility pole. A witness told police he tried unsuccessfully to take another car. He ran off to a Walgreens parking lot, where police say he told a woman and her child to get out of their SUV as he jumped in the driver's seat.
"I know these things happen, but I lived in central Vermont for 27 years, and the biggest issue sometimes in the police report was somebody's pig got loose," said Betts.
The mother and daughter climbed out of the passenger side unharmed, while Plourde fled the area in the vehicle.
Manchester police then issued a bulletin, saying that the Ford Escape had been stolen from their city in a carjacking.
Following that incident, Hudson police said they were flagged down around 9:35 a.m. for a report of a hit-and-run accident on Central Street. Police found a damaged Ford Escape in a snowbank on Central Street near Belknap Road.
Witnesses told police that they saw the driver, Plourde, fleeing the Central Street scene on foot. Plourde was eventually taken into custody near the Cumberland Farms on Central Street.
After further investigation, police determined that Plourde had been involved in two collisions on Central Street.
In one of the Central Street collisions, the Escape sideswiped a Chrysler 200 on the left side. No one was injured in that incident.
The other collision happened about two miles west, at Central and Greeley streets, where the Escape struck a Kia Soul. The Kia had rear driver's side damage and had to be towed from the scene.
Hudson police then learned of the notice from Manchester police and determined the Ford Escape in the crash was the same one stolen earlier in the day.
In addition to the incidents in Manchester and Hudson, Derry police said the same Ford Escape hit two cars in their town earlier Tuesday morning without stopping.
The suspect's motives were unclear, and police say his story made no sense when he was interviewed.
"It's an aggravation," Betts said. "I'm too old for it. I just need peace in my life, a cup of tea and something decent on public television."
It is not clear when Plourde is due in court or if he has an attorney. Bail has not been set.