EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 25, 2013

Salem officer injured when suspect tries to flee

By Jo-Anne MacKenzie

---- — SALEM — A police officer was injured during a traffic stop early yesterday and a Lawrence man faces charges as a result.

Officer Michael Massahos sustained minor injuries when he was dragged for several feet while he tried to stop the suspect’s car.

Jordan Depina, 20, faces felony charges for that, and more charges for drug possession.

Massahos noticed a car without its headlights on heading south on Route 28 at 12:49 a.m. yesterday. He pulled the vehicle over in the Pep Boys parking lot, not far from the state line. After the stop, Massahos discovered Depina had “a quantity of marijuana” in his possession. Police weren’t able to identify the specific amount yesterday.

At that point, Massahos tried to take Depina into custody, but the suspect took off on foot, leaving his car running in the lot. The officer chased Depina around Pep Boys, but the suspect jumped back into his car and tried to take off. Massahos was stuck halfway in the car and was dragged for a short distance before he could grab the gearshift and put the car into park.

The officer then used his Taser on the suspect, with “limited effect.” The two struggled briefly, but Massahos managed to take Depina into custody as backup officers arrived at the scene.

Massahos was treated and released from Parkland Medical Center in Derry for minor injuries and exposure to hazardous material.

Depina, too, was treated and released from Parkland. He refused the services of a bail commissioner and was jailed until his arraignment later yesterday.

He’s charged with felony second degree assault, felony drug possession, felony reckless conduct, simple assault, marijuana possession and resisting arrest.

He’s being held on $15,000 cash bail and was still listed as an inmate late yesterday,

Police said there were controlled drugs in plain sight in the car, along with several purses and a large amount of loose change. Police continue to investigate the car and its contents.

Two men who were passengers in the car at the time it was stopped fled on foot.