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Stoneham man charged with drunk driving, striking two officers

Thomas Fernandes, 30, of Stoneham, was arraigned Tuesday in Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn on several charges.

A Stoneham man was arraigned in a Woburn court Tuesday on charges that he drove a motor vehicle with a suspended license while under the influence of alcohol and cocaine and striking two Stoneham Police officers, according to a press statement issued by Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone’s Office.

Thomas Fernandes, 30, of Stoneham, appeared in Middlesex Superior Court to answer to charges of armed assault to murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (two counts), possession with the intent to distribute a class A drug, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of liquor, operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license (subsequent offense), negligent operation of a motor vehicle, assault and battery on a public employee (three counts), failure to stop for police and resisting arrest, according to the statement. Middlesex Superior Court Clerk Michael Sullivan ordered the Fernandes held on $30,000 cash bail, the statement read.

On March 26, Fernandes will reappear in Superior Court.

“We allege that this defendant put the public at great risk by driving a motor vehicle the wrong way down a public street while under the influence of cocaine and alcohol,” Leone said in the statement. “This defendant blatantly and seriously demonstrated that risk by proceeding to crash his vehicle several times while repeatedly attempting to leave the scene in an attempt to avoid arrest, ultimately striking the two police officers who attempted to stop the defendant from harming himself or anyone else.”

According to police, on Oct. 23, 2011 at about 2 a.m., Fernandes is accused of driving his vehicle the wrong way down Central Street in Stoneham, according to the statement.

A pair of Stoneham officers patrolling the area observed Fernandes and attempted to pull him over, according to the statement. Fernandes allegedly accelerated and drove around one of the officer’s cruisers and continued traveling south at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour, the statement read.

Fernandes allegedly drove through two red lights and weaved over the double-yellow lines as he traveled toward Route 93 south, according to the statement.

As Fernandes approached the on-ramp for the highway, he allegedly swerved over a median and crashed into a tree, according to the statement. The two Stoneham officers approached the driver’s side of the vehicle and ordered Fernandes to shut off his engine and exit the vehicle, the statement read. Fernandes allegedly refused and continued to step on the accelerator in an attempt to drive away from the scene, according to the statement.

The officers then opened the driver’s side door and attempted to remove the keys from the ignition, the statement read. Fernandes allegedly put his vehicle in reverse, striking the two officers with the side of his car door, according to the statement. Fernandes allegedly drove forward, dragging the two officers who were partially inside of the vehicle, along the ground until the defendant struck a second tree, according to the statement.

A third Stoneham officer responded to the scene and attempted to assist the other officers in removing Fernandes from his vehicle, according to the statement. Fernandes allegedly struggled with the officers, striking them with his hands and elbows , the statement read.

During the struggle, Fernandes is accused again of placing the car in gear and accelerated toward one of the original responding officers, according to the statement. Fernandes allegedly struck the officer with his vehicle, knocking him to the ground and causing the officer to sustain an injury to his hand and to the side of his body, the statement read. The defendant is accused of driving directly into a NSTAR utility box, disabling the car, according to the statement.

The three officers were able to subdue Fernandes and he was arrested, according to the statement. He allegedly had a plastic prescription bottle which contained 13 glassine bags filled with heroin on his person, the statement read.

Fernandes was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was treated for injuries that he sustained during the crash, the statement read.

Fernandes was arraigned on Oct. 26, 2011 in Woburn District Court where Judge Marianne Hinkle ordered him held on $30,000, the statement read. The defendant was indicted by a Middlesex County grand jury on February 21, the statement added.

These charges are allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, the statement read.

The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney Lisa Fuccione, and the victim witness advocate is Danielle DeMeo, the statement read.

The case was investigated by the Stoneham Police Department, the statement read.

Source:  patch.com