Escape attempt fails

WESTFIELD – A city woman may have learned – the hard way – that locking the car doors while police are issuing orders and driving away is not a way to avoid responsibility for one’s actions.
Officer Patrick Shea reports that at 10:30 Friday evening, while he was monitoring traffic from the parking lot at the Elm Street CVS store, his attention was drawn to a 2001 Suzuki Vitara which pulled up at the store and drove on to a curb before parking.
Shea reports that the operator exited and staggered to the door of the closed store where she tried to enter.
When Shea approached the woman, later identified as Mary Elizabeth Shevock, 33, of 10 Washington St., she said that she was going inside to make a purchase and, when the officer pointed out that the darkened store was closed, Shevock paused and then said “No it’s not.”
Shea reports that the woman displayed the classic symptoms of alcohol intoxication but denied she had been drinking liquor.
Officer Michael Gibbons had joined Shea and, when the woman declined to take a field sobriety test, then Shea summoned his supervisor, Sgt. Michael Chechile.
Shea reports that he spoke with Chechile, out of earshot of the woman, and informed him of the situation.
He said that when he and Chechile started to return to Shevock, who had been standing with Gibbons near her vehicle, she was asked to step up on to the sidewalk next to the store to speak with them.
Instead, she jumped into her SUV and locked the doors.
The woman did not respond to Chechile who was demanding that she unlock the door but found her keys and started the vehicle, Shea reports, and when he saw her putting the SUV in gear he withdrew his baton and started to strike a window.
However, the glass did not break before the woman backed away from the store and drove out of the parking lot on to Franklin Street.
Gibbons, who was closest to his cruiser, was the first of the officers to follow the fleeing vehicle and saw it turn on to Washington Street.
When Gibbons followed her on to Washington Street, he found that Shevock had stopped because Officer Michael Bradley had blocked the roadway with his cruiser.
The pursuing officers boxed in Shevock’s vehicle with a cruiser on each side and one behind the SUV.
The officers were able to start to open the door to her vehicle but Shevock attempted to prevent the door from opening further and, when she took her foot off the brakes, her vehicle moved forward and struck Chechile’s cruiser.
Shea reports that Shevock was then removed from her vehicle by force and taken into custody. Her vehicle was towed to the police impound yard.
She was charged with operating under the influence of liquor, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, resisting arrest and operating an unregistered motor vehicle and was released from the station a few hours later on her personal recognizance.
Arraigned yesterday in Westfield District Court, Shevock was again released without bail, pending a March 28 pre-trial hearing.

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