AMESBURY — A Methuen man is accused of driving more than 120 mph Tuesday night on Interstate 495 through Merrimac and Amesbury while being pursued by police, according to Newburyport District Court records. 

Nathanael E. Pena, 27, of Hampshire Road, eventually pulled over on Route 150 in Amesbury, and was arrested on a half-dozen charges including failing to stop for police, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, speeding and obstructing an emergency vehicle. 

At Pena's arraignment Wednesday morning in District Court, Judge Peter Doyle released him without bail but ordered him not to be charged again while awaiting trial. Pena is due back in court May 20 for a pretrial hearing. 

Pena also faces charges of operating a motor vehicle without a license, as well as marked lanes and failing to signal violations. 

Trooper Jack Donaldson was looking for speeders around 6:30 p.m. on I-495 north just shy of Exit 53 in Merrimac when he clocked a black Hyundai Sonata in the far left lane at 97 mph in a 65 mph zone. After entering traffic to catch up with the sedan, Pena cut across two lanes of traffic forcing other drivers to slam on their brakes. 

"I was directly behind the Hyundai Sonata with my cruiser's blue emergency lights and siren activated for close to two miles, clocking the vehicle at 128 mph," Donaldson wrote in his report, adding that by this time Pena had moved to the second travel lane.

Shortly after, Pena veered across a lane of traffic and left the highway at Route 150 in Amesbury, forcing another driver to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision. 

Greeting Pena at the end of the exit was an Amesbury police cruiser, which had been notified of the pursuit. Pena pulled over alongside the Amesbury cruiser and waited until Donaldson drove up behind him.

Pena was immediately handcuffed and arrested. While being walked over to Donaldson's cruiser, Pena told the trooper he did not have a license. 

"During the transport to the barracks, Pena freely said he did not stop because he thought he may have a warrant (for his arrest) and because he did not have a driver's license," Donaldson wrote in his report. 

Pena was eventually released by the state police and came to District Court on Wednesday morning on his own. 

 

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