NORTH STONINGTON – Rhode Island State Police SWAT team officers arrested a Massachusetts man on Highway 2 just above the North Stonington city limit early Wednesday afternoon after a police chase that began in Westport, Mass., and wound its way through Rhode Island and into Connecticut.
Police identified the man as Ian Grant, 36, of Dartmouth, Mass. swerve above the center line, leave the roadway and hit a tree.
The chase began in Westport, Mass., after New Bedford police attempted to arrest Grant around 11 a.m. Wednesday. .
Grant’s home at 111 Prospect St., Dartmouth, was also the site of a fire earlier on Wednesday morning. The origin and cause of the fire are still under investigation by the Massachusetts State Police Fire and Explosion Investigation Unit, Dartmouth Fire District 1 and the local police.
In his escape from New Bedford officers, Grant was driving on Route 195 in Westport when he drove into the median of State Police troopers, who fired on him. The vehicle proceeded and struck two Massachusetts State Police cruisers before crossing the median and continuing to flee west on the east side of Route 195 into oncoming traffic. The soldiers did not pursue Grant, given the danger of the misdirection situation. Police say Grant displayed an assault weapon at least once during the chase.
The hunt begins
Shortly thereafter, in Rhode Island, police located Grant’s Tacoma in Jamestown and began a pursuit down Route 1. This pursuit continued south through South Kingstown and into Charlestown and Westerly, then on Route 78 and in Connecticut. A Connecticut State Police SUV was able to stop Grant’s truck on Route 2 in North Stonington, just north of the Exit 92 interchange by pushing it out of control into the treeline.
Soldiers and officers from Rhode Island and Connecticut established a perimeter around the vehicle and began negotiating with Grant through the Rhode Island SWAT team. At around 2 p.m., after deploying tear gas and pepper spray, SWAT officers arrested Grant.
Connecticut State Police spokesman Private Pedro Muniz confirmed that Grant had at least one firearm in his truck when he was arrested in North Stonington.
Winding road to the west
Grant’s vehicle pulled into Westerly around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, and Westerly Police Chief Paul Gingerella said he did not show the gun at any time while he was in town. Westerly police deployed “stop sticks” intended to slash the truck’s tires in a few areas, including on Highway 1 near the Charlestown town line, but Grant walked around them or was able to continue, said Gingerella.
The pursuit, which involved several Rhode Island State Police troops and vehicles, took the Granite Street section of Route 1, along Route 3 (Grove Avenue) and Old Frontage Road, Oak Street, and a section of Route 78. 78 to Route 2 in Stonington and drove to North Stonington followed by a phalanx of police vehicles.
Westerly police followed the chase to provide information on its direction, Gingerella said. Westerly officers have also been deployed to schools across the city, and Westerly High School students have been told to stay indoors until the threat has passed. Schools in Stonington and North Stonington were also closed.
Grant was originally held by Montville-based Connecticut State Police E Troop as a fugitive from justice and was to be turned over to the Massachusetts or Rhode Island State Police to face charges. additional charges. The exact charges Grant will face in Massachusetts and Rhode Island were unclear Wednesday night.
Grant was evaluated at a Connecticut hospital after being captured before being taken to jail.
The Massachusetts soldiers who were present during the gun dump were assessed for stress at an area hospital and released.