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March 6, 2013

Methuen police chase ends with crash in Lawrence; 1 arrested, driver escapes

METHUEN — Police arrested one man and another got away after a short car chase that started in Methuen and ended near Commonwealth Motors in Lawrence when the stolen Honda Civic they were chasing hit a telephone pole and a gate outside the car dealership, police said.

At about 1:57 a.m., Officer Neil Quinlan saw the vehicle acting suspiciously on Merrimack Street, according to Methuen police Sgt. Stephen Debs.

He ran the plates and found that the car, a 2000 gray Civic, had been reported stolen out of Lowell.

Quinlan tried to pull the vehicle over, but the driver took off.

Debs said the chase lasted less than a minute before the car slammed jumped a curb on Marston Street, narrowly missing a telephone pole before slamming into a into a telephone pole and a gate at the dealership. The car and gate were damaged, Debs said.

The driver and passenger, both males, jumped out and began running, but Quinlan quickly caught up with the passenger, identified as Bianchinies Cruz, 23, of 653 Broadway St., Lowell. He was charged with receiving a stolen motor vehicle, a felony.

The driver, meanwhile, was able to elude police despite a search by a K-9 patrol, including a dog from the Essex County Sheriff's Department, and Methuen and Lawrence officers.

"We tried finding him, but he fled into Lawrence," Debs said.

Debs said Cruz was unable to give much information about the driver.

"He said he didn't know him that well," Debs said, adding that no drugs or alcohol were found.

Cruz is being arraigned this morning in Lawrence District Court.

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More on this story in tomorrow's editions of The Eagle-Tribune.

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