EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

June 22, 2014

Traffic stop leads to chase, stolen cruiser, arrest

Pa. man allegedly assaulted officer, stole cruiser

SALEM — A Pennsylvania man led police on a pursuit early yesterday that started in Salem and ended there, but first wound through Haverhill, Lawrence and Methuen.

Police believe Robert Zygarowski, 52, of Ellwood City, Pa., used a car, a stolen police cruiser, a cab and his feet to elude them in the nearly three-hour pursuit that ended in his arrest.

Zygarowski sits in the Rockingham County jail in Brentwood, awaiting arraignment tomorrow on eight charges, with more likely to come.

A half dozen police agencies from two states were involved in a situation Salem Deputy Chief Shawn Patten described as “hairy.”

There are still a lot of blanks to fill in, Patten said, but what is known has many shaking their heads and police grateful no one was seriously injured, including Zygarowski.

His activities over the span of those three hours included deflecting a Taser, commandeering a cruiser, assaulting police and telling a store clerk he was going to shoot police, Patten said.

“He’s lucky no one was seriously injured or killed, including himself,” Patten said yesterday.

It started with a traffic stop on Main Street at 12:40 a.m.

Officer Adam Pearson stopped the car Zygarowski was driving near Centerville Drive. There were two male passengers in the car.

Pearson asked Zygarowski to get out of the car for field sobriety testing and things quickly deteriorated.

A struggle ensued and Pearson shot Zygarowski with a Taser. But Zygarowski managed to knock a prong off the Taser and the weapon out of the officer’s hands.

It was later found on Main Street, along with cartridges and Zygarowski’s glasses, Patten said.

One prong of the Taser was still lodged in Zygarowski’s chest when he was arrested nearly three hours later, Patten said.

Pursuit ends into Massachusetts

Pearson radioed for backup, but before more officers could respond, Zygarowski was back behind the wheel, speeding across the border into Haverhill, Patten said.

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