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Alleged drunken driver's escape plan goes south
By Andrew Hickey
Staff writer

SALEM - Shirtless, soaked and allegedly stinking of booze, Hector Marston wasn't giving up without a fight.

So police floated into the South River in rafts and doused Marston with pepper spray to remove him from the large wooden piling to which he clung roughly 60 feet from shore.

Police Chief Robert St. Pierre said he spotted Marston, 20, of 312 Union St., Lynn, driving a Ford Ranger erratically on Summer Street around 9 p.m. Saturday.

After the driver - with a passenger in the pickup - made several sudden turns, the chief turned on his lights and siren on Gedney Street to stop the Ranger, but it kept going. Marston ran stop signs, weaved back and forth, sped up and ignored red lights, police said. The streets were flooded with traffic and pedestrians, St. Pierre said.

"I figured he was going to hurt somebody," he said. "There's no question this guy was out of control."

The short pursuit ended when Marston pulled into the parking lot of Goodyear Tire on Derby Street, but took off running before the Ranger even stopped. St. Pierre ran after him, and Marston plunged into the river.

Marston swam out to a piling not far from the Congress Street Bridge, pulled himself up and hung on as police, firefighters and harbormasters came after him in rafts.

Officers tried to negotiate with Marston to no avail, St. Pierre said.

"We were trying to talk to him and get him to surrender on his own," St. Pierre said. "But there was no reasoning with him at all."

St. Pierre said Marston yelled at and threatened kill officers, and at one point screamed, "You're not going to take me alive."

But after 45 minutes Patrolman David Tucker squirted Marston with pepper spray. He was arrested on charges including drunken driving, resisting arrest, speeding, failing to stop at a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign, failing to stop for police, negligent driving, driving with a suspended license, giving a false name to police, plate violations and being disorderly.

Marston was additionally charged with receiving stolen property worth over $250 after police found a stolen speaker system in the Ranger, investigators said. Police found a half-full bottle of vodka in the pickup.

"It was an interesting evening to say the least," St. Pierre said.

Marston's passenger, Neil Call, 23, of 22 King St., Peabody, was charged with being disorderly. Call stayed in the pickup and cooperated with police, investigators said.

Staff writer Andrew Hickey can be reached at (978) 338-2525 or by e-mail at [email protected].
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