, Newburyport, MA

April 5, 2012

Man leads police on wild highway chase

Staff Writer

— AMESBURY -- A Seabrook man wanted on a warrant for breaking and entering in Haverhill led police on a high-speed chase from Lowell Avenue in Haverhill to I-495. then to I-95, into New Hampshire and back again before he was caught in Amesbury at arou8nd 11 a.m. after police used stop-sticks to puncture his tires.

Police identified the man as Keith Babcock, 29, of Seabrook., N.H.

According to Lt. Kevin Dorr, one of the patrol officers in Haverhill recognized the man as he was driving on Lowell Avenue. The officer attempted to pull Babcock over, but he took off, heading toward I-495. Dorr said the officer broke off the pursuit, which didn't reach high speeds until later, once the vehicle went onto I-495.

According to a number of Twitter entries as well as police scanner reports, the Mass. State Police picked up the chase, following the vehicle up I-495 through Amesbury and into Merrimac. Local police joined the chase as the car went up I-95 toward the New Hampshire border. Babcock went a couple miles into New Hampshire, where New Hampshire state troopers joined the chase.

Babcock then reversed direction at a paved median crossing and headed back into Massachusetts, where he was met by a phalanx of local and state police.

He drove south on I-95, at times reaching an estimated 90 mph, according to a Twitter feed authored by a blogger known as 'AlertNewEngland.' He exited onto Route 286 in Salisbury, where he may also have struck a State Police cruiser during the chase, according to a police report. He then got back onto I-95 and headed south.

Stop sticks, which are strips of rubber covered with spikes, were placed on the highway to puncture the tires. One tire was blown out and Babcock stopped his car in Amesbury near Route 110 and fled on foot.

He was caught after a short foot-chase by the Amesbury Police Department.