LOWELL, MASS. (WHDH) - The man allegedly behind a string of armed carjackings in New Hampshire appeared in court Friday, one day after cell phone video showed his dramatic arrest in Dracut.
Facing a judge, Nathan Saben pleaded not guilty to a series of charges against him. His bail was set at $100,000 for cash bail or $1 million surety.
Saben and his suspected accomplice, Jessica Tirone were arrested after being found driving a black, 2012 Subaru Outback that Saben allegedly carjacked in New Hampshire.
Police chased Saben and Tirone from Lawrence to Dracut before video showed what appeared to be Saben attempting to steal another vehicle after the Subaru went off of Route 110 in Dracut. The video showed the individual approach a sedan stuck in traffic before police officers tackled the suspect.
Massachusetts state police said Saben was carrying a gun at the time of his arrest. Police released a photo of the gun ahead of Saben’s arraignment.
In court, prosecutors said Saben threatened to take his own life.
“They observed him observing a black rifle,” a prosecutor said. “The trooper did draw his firearm and gave verbal commands for the defendant to put the rifle down.”
“Other officers from the Lawrence Police Department were on scene. They verbally attempted to de-escalate,” the same prosecutor continued. “They observed as the defendant put the rifle into his mouth.”
Outside the courthouse, Saben’s former girlfriend had little to say to 7NEWS after saying during the arraignment that Saben needs help.
Saben’s attorney emphasized no one should be jumping to any conclusions.
“He’s holding up well and wants to fight the case,” the attorney said.
The arrest of Saben and Tirone capped off a week of police searching for the pair, who allegedly committed a string of violent crimes that began last Friday.
Officials previously said Saben ran from police during a drug bust in Seabrook, New Hampshire, on Sept. 29, nearly running over an officer in the process.
On Tuesday, Saben was seen by police in Haverhill, where police chased him until he hit the state line.
That same night, in Salem, New Hampshire, authorities said the suspect tried to carjack two people unsuccessfully before he allegedly held a woman at gunpoint and took off in her car.
Police in Alton, New Hampshire, later confirmed they found the stolen car from Salem in their town on Wednesday.
In addition to identifying Tirone as an accomplice, authorities also said Saben went on to carjack the driver of a Subaru near Old Wolfeboro and Bay Hill roads in Alton, pointing a rifle at the man and forcing his way into the man’s car.
Police said the man was hit by the door of the car as the suspect took off and later hospitalized.
State police said authorities took Saben and Tirone to separate campuses of Lowell General Hospital on Thursday. Saben was eventually booked at the Andover state police barracks after being released.
While Saben subsequently appeared in-person in Lowell District Court, Tirone remained hospitalized at Lowell General-Saints campus on Friday and was arraigned on separate charges from her hospital bed.
Massachusetts State Police said Saben was booked on charges including armed carjacking, failure to stop for police, reckless operation of a motor vehicle and being a fugitive from justice. Police said Saben is also facing charges related to firearms offenses and other motor vehicle crimes.
If he posts bail in Massachusetts, Saben will need to be fitted with a GPS tracking device. He is due back in court next month.
Saben is expected to face additional charges at some point in New Hampshire.
Authorities have said their investigation in recent incidents allegedly involving Saben and Tirone is ongoing.
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