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Fleeing Suspect Hitches 'Getaway' Ride With Police Chief

Fleeing Suspect Hitches 'Getaway' Ride With Police Chief

The Boston Herald via YellowBrix

April 22, 2011

BOSTON – A no-luck suspect who had just taken a beating when he tried to steal a farmer’s truck might have thought things were looking up early Wednesday morning when he finally caught a ride to get the heck away from the scene of the crime, cops said.

“He said, ‘You look familiar,’ and my response was, ‘I should look familiar, I’m the police chief,’ said Salisbury Police Chief Richard Merrill Jr., who welcomed the fleeing hitchhiker, Joe Dastous, 26, of Salisbury, into his unmarked cruiser.

“He just said, ‘Oh (expletive), I made a big mistake,’ ” Merrill said. “In 33 years, I’ve never had anyone run towards me. Usually, they’re running away.”

Dastous’ trying day had begun hours earlier when he allegedly tried to steal a pickup belonging to John Sanborn, 64.

When Sanborn saw someone in his driveway in the early morning hours, he ran out barefoot to confront the man, the farmer said yesterday.

“He actually started the truck and I grabbed a hold of him. I just started swinging at him and clocked him a little silly,” Sanborn told the Herald. “I pulled him out. . . . He got up and ran off.”

The suspect ran all the way to what appeared to be a welcoming motorist parked near Interstate 495 — only to be cruelly disappointed by a twist of fate.

“Once he jumped inside, he thought he had it made,” Merrill said. “I wear a shirt and tie, so to him I was probably a businessman of some sort.”

Dastous, who was sopping wet, shivering and bruised when he was apprehended, was charged with attempted car theft and burglary.

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