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LEOMINSTER -- State Police allege a Worcester man crashed a stolen car after a high-speed chase through downtown Leominster early Saturday morning, according to court documents.
State Trooper Donald Gray reported that a Mercury Cougar being driven by Daniel Fontanez, 18, first caught his attention on Interstate 190 because it "was traveling very slowly; approximately 40-45 (miles per hour) in the posted 65 MPH zone."
Gray reported seeing the car swerve several times, and ran the plates through Registry of Motor Vehicles records, which revealed the registration had been revoked in June for insurance cancellation.
The car then sped off the highway and toward downtown Leominster when Gray turned on his lights and siren, according to his report.
Gray alerted Leominster Police about the chase and briefly lost sight of the car, according to his report.
Officers and troopers then searched the area after Gray reported seeing three men leave the car, and Fontanez -- who was allegedly driving -- took off toward the nearby river and jumped in before Leominster Police officers took him into custody.
"When asked who was in the vehicle with him, Fontanez said one of the subjects was named George, but he was not sure of the last name," Gray wrote. "He said he only knew the other suspect as 'Popcorn.' "
Fontanez, who only has a state learner's permit, denied driving the car, which had been reported stolen out of Worcester, Gray wrote. The Lowell woman who owns the car told Gray she saw a man steal her car from in front of a friend's house in Worcester earlier in the night. Gray told her that her car had been in an accident, and she said she did not know the driver.

The car had apparently skidded out of control during the chase and hit a utility pole on Water Street, Gray wrote.
"The collision with the pole caused extensive damage to the rear of the vehicle and apparently disabled it," Gray wrote. "The Mercury then rolled downhill on Water Street toward the Whitney Street intersection. It came to rest against a curb adjacent to the warehouse at the intersection."
Fontanez faces 13 charges, including larceny of a motor vehicle, speeding, failure to stop for police and resisting arrest. He appeared in Leominster District Court on Monday for arraignment, where Judge John J. Curran Jr. ordered him held on $2,500 cash bail. Fontanez is due in court Aug. 18 for a pretrial hearing.

http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/police/ci_10030720
 
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