MEDFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - Police officers apprehended a wrong-way scooter driver after he led them on a wild chase through multiple North Shore communities that came to an end in Medford on Thursday morning.
State troopers and local police officials attempted to take the “emotionally distraught” driver into custody in Danvers but he zoomed off, according to a state police spokesman. The man was later spotted in the area of Centennial Drive in Peabody before he fled north on the southbound side of Interstate 95.
The 28-year-old driver then got onto Route 114 east in Middleton, at times driving on the wrong side of the road, police said. Cruisers proceeded to block intersections and side streets to prevent collisions but the driver was able to weave through traffic and navigate his way onto Route 28 in Stoneham and then onto Interstate 93.
Video from SKY7HD showed the driver swerving around oncoming traffic before riding in the breakdown lane on the wrong side of I-93, nearly crashing several times as police closed in. He was also seen in the middle of the highway at times.
At multiple points during the pursuit, the driver was able to dodge and evade cruisers that attempted to block his path, pumping his fist in the air as he sped away on his 2019 Yamaha YW50 scooter. Witnesses say he could also be seen laughing and yelling profanities.
“He was waving his hands at them and giving them the finger,” Christopher Eaton said.
The suspect, whose name has not been released, was ultimately swarmed by law enforcement officials and taken into custody when exited the highway onto Mystic Avenue in Medford. He could be seen being led into an ambulance in handcuffs.
The state police spokesman said the driver may have been suicidal and possibly armed with a knife.
“He was driving very erratically. We did not pursue because of his condition but followed in a manner attempting to not escalate the situation but resolve it safely and protect other motorists,” the spokesman said in a statement.
The suspect has since been taken to undergo a mental health evaluation and charges are pending.
There were no reported injuries.
A number of vehicles, including a state police cruiser, were damaged by the moped during the pursuit.
Elaine Ferreira says she was watching the chase unfold live on 7NEWS when she realized the scooter driver had struck her car.
“I came out to take a close look and then I saw the guy as state police chased him,” Ferreira said.
Luv Karia says he was in his car on Route 114 in Middleton when the scooter driver and a parade of police cruisers zipped by him.
“Eighteen cruisers flying by, a guy on the loose,” Karia said. “It was an entertaining morning.”
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