By Bill Kirk
---- — NORTH ANDOVER — A 34-year-old Wilmington man faces a long list of charges following a high-speed, cat-and-mouse chase through several towns early yesterday morning that ended when his tires were punctured on Route 114 and he was tackled as he tried to run from his disabled car on Massachusetts Avenue.
Paul Tierney was arraigned in Salem, Mass. District Court yesterday on charges of operating under the influence of liquor, third offense, failure to stop for police, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, resisting arrest and a number of other charges, including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for allegedly trying to run over a sheriff’s deputy at the Middleton Jail.
He was arrested on Massachusetts Avenue at 2:30 a.m. after North Andover police placed “stop-sticks” on the Route 114, which punctured the tires of Tierney’s red Kia. The car, which had reached speeds of 90 mph while driving down Route 114, came to a stop and Tierney attempted to run from the car but he was caught and detained by North Andover Police Officer Michael Reardon.
State police said the troubles with Tierney actually started earlier in the evening when troopers tried to stop him on Route 95 in Newbury. According to a press release issued by state police, Tierney evaded police by driving off the highway into a densely populated area of Danvers.
He then drove his red Kia into Middleton, driving to the Middleton Jail off Route 62, near the Danvers line.
Essex County Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Maurice Pratt said Tierney drove his Kia up Manning Avenue and took a left onto the 100- to 200-yard-long driveway that leads to the jail’s front entrance.
“He came up as far as the jail,” Pratt said. “He had no business being there.”
Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas D’Orazio, while at his post, “noticed a suspicious vehicle,” Pratt said. “It was an odd hour for a vehicle to be up there, so he checked it out.”
As he walked over to the Kia, Tierney drove at D’Orazio, injuring him, Pratt said. D’Orazio was taken to the hospital and was recovering at home today, Pratt said.
D’Orazio called Middleton police, which picked up the chase as Tierney fled back to Route 62. He drove back into Danvers and past the state police barracks, doing at least one or two U-turns, police said, reversing direction on Route 62.
Trooper Lisa Cote-Barthelmess observed the pursuit pass by and joined in behind the Middleton Police cruiser. Tierney at some point headed back toward Middleton before getting onto Route 114 into North Andover.
Driving at speeds of up to 90 mph, Tierney refused to stop his vehicle.
“The Kia was operating in a highly erratic manner, swerving all over the roadway,” state police said. “The North Andover Police Department was notified of the pursuit and deployed tire-deflation devices on Route 114. The KIA struck the device, forcing the vehicle to slow and stop on Massachusetts Avenue in North Andover.”
Tierney then “exited the vehicle and ran down the street with Trooper Cote-Barthelmess and North Andover Police Officer Michael Reardon in pursuit on foot,” state police said. “Officer Reardon was able to grab the suspect and pull him to the ground. The suspect struggled against being taken into custody but was eventually handcuffed.”
Trooper Cote-Barthelmess observed Tierney to have bloodshot, glassy eyes and had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, the press release said. When Tierney was led back to waiting cruisers he was unsteady on his feet and swayed side to side when he was standing still.
He was transported back to the state police barracks in Danvers and given field sobriety tests. After the tests were given, Trooper Cote-Barthelmess determined that he was operating under the influence. The Kia was found to have evidence of open containers and was towed from the scene.
Other charges he faces include: Operating after revocation, habitual traffic offender; resisting arrest; possession of an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle; speeding; marked lanes violation; failure to stop; assault and battery with a dangerous weapon; assault and battery on a public employee; leaving the scene of a personal injury accident; trespassing on state/county property.
In June 2008, Tierney, of 4 Aspen Drive, Wilmington, was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol (second offense), speeding and a marked lanes violation on Interstate 495 in Newburyport.