Aerial footage shows police repeatedly punching a suspect who appeared to surrender after leading authorities on a chase from Massachusetts into New Hampshire Wednesday afternoon.
The Massachusetts State Police Department, one of the agencies involved in the pursuit and arrest, will investigate whether officers' actions during the suspect's arrest were appropriate, according to a news release.
The agency said the chase began in Holden just after 4 p.m. The driver ultimately led police across Massachusetts, into New Hampshire, back to Massachusetts and finally into New Hampshire.
Police Seen Punching Suspect on Ground After High-Speed Chase
Thet pickup truck was stopped in Nashua after blowing two tires.
The driver, identified by Massachusetts police as 50-year-old Richard Simone of Worcester, can be seen on aerial video exiting the truck, which is surrounded by officers, and getting down to his knees. As officers approach the suspect, who puts his hands on the ground, two can be seen winding up and punching him.
Other officers can be seen around the suspect, with several appearing to get on top of him after the punches are first thrown. Simone is then handcuffed, stood up and led away.
"The pursuit, like all pursuits that involve Massachusetts State Police, will be reviewed by the department's pursuit committee," spokesperson Dave Procopio said in a statement. "Additionally, MSP will also review the apprehension of the suspect, to determine whether the level of force deployed during the arrest was appropriate."
Procopio noted that the apprehension had sparked an investigation separate from the one into the pursuit, "as the video captured by news helicopters shows a use of force against the suspect."
The department did not say in the release, or through a spokesman, which agencies were involved in the arrest.
High-Speed Police Chase in NH
"The Governor is aware of the situation and our office has been in contact with the Departments of Safety and Justice," the office of New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said in a statement. "All New Hampshire public safety officials are held to the highest standards, and the Governor expects this will be fully investigated."
A Holden Police Department news release did not make note of any use of force in the arrest at the conclusion of the pursuit. The release said officers were on the lookout for the vehicle following an alert issued Monday by the Leicester Police Department.
Nashua Police have not returned phone calls seeking comment. Police in nearby Hudson, however, say the suspect "collided briefly" with a Massachusetts State Police cruiser before hitting a utility pole and continuing on to Nashua.
Hudson Police note that they only provided backup when the suspect was in town.
Simone was booked by the Nashua Police Department. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.
Simone was wanted on assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and larceny charges, according to state police. Holden police tried to stop him, but he gave chase, and a state police cruiser followed.
The driver led police onto I-190 northbound, then off the highway and onto Route 117 in Lancaster — where state police were required by policy to stop partaking in the chase. When the vehicle returned to I-190, state police rejoined the response.
The chase continued onto Route 2 in Leominster east to I-495 in Littleton.
State police say Simone got off the highway again in Chelmsford, where he took several roads before hopping on U.S. Route 3 northbound. He got off on the last Massachusetts exit before taking other roads into Nashua, where the pursuit ended after about an hour.