NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

February 22, 2013

Port man charged with 3rd OUI, fleeing crash scene

By Dave Rogers
Staff Writer

---- — NEWBURYPORT — A local man with a history of drunken driving convictions was arrested Wednesday for allegedly slamming into a motorist on High Street and then attacking two police officers.

Lionel Colon, 29, of 35 Washington St., Newburyport, will remain behind bars following his arraignment yesterday in Newburyport District Court. He was denied bail by Judge Peter Doyle pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for next Wednesday.

Colon was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol (third offense), carrying a dangerous weapon, leaving the scene of an accident after personal injury, assault and battery of a police officer, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license (subsequent offense).

According to police reports, Colon was traveling east on High Street near the Bartlet Mall in a green SUV around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday when he rammed into another motorist traveling in front of him.

Instead of pulling over, Colon swerved around the car and continued down High Street until pulling into the State Street Mobil Station parking lot at a high rate of speed. Then, the suspect raced out of the lot and made his way down State Street toward the Route 1 traffic circle.

Police units eventually spotted the green SUV on Washington Street after motorists there called to report an erratic operator. Police began questioning Colon and his female passenger, who had already exited the vehicle, to determine who was behind the wheel. Police reported it became quickly apparent that Colon exhibited signs of intoxication, including slurred speech and having trouble standing steady on his feet.

When it seemed police would arrest Colon’s female companion for being behind the wheel, he confessed to police he was driving. As police tried to arrest him, Colon became extremely agitated and attacked officers Charles Ferlauto and Shawn Eaton. Police managed to force Colon to the ground and handcuff him after a brief struggle, which including the application of pepper spray to his eyes, according to police reports.

The female victim was eventually transferred to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport after complaining of serious neck and back pain. An ambulance crew was also dispatched to Washington Street to treat Colon and Eaton, who had both been affected by pepper spray, according to court documents.

During the booking process, Colon refused to take a Breathalyzer test and it was determined that his driver’s license was revoked due to previous drunken driving incidents.

Other officers assisting with the arrest included Christopher McDonald, Richard Rocco, Robert Vatcher and Sgt. Stephen Chaisson.