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Worcester man nabbed after wild car chase
By Claudia Torrens / News Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 1, 2005

SHREWSBURY -- A man wanted for allegedly trying to kill a Worcester police officer was arrested early yesterday morning after he smashed a stolen car into a parked Shrewsbury cruiser, police said.

Julius Owens, 29, was arrested at 1:30 a.m. at White City Shopping Center after his stolen car plowed into the cruiser with Sgt. Ronald S. Benoit Jr. inside. Benoit was taken to UMass Medical Center in Worcester where he was treated and released.

Shrewsbury police were on the lookout for Owens, whose alleged crime spree began when he tried to break into a house on Worcester's Coral Street about 9:45 Sunday night. A woman there called police and Owens took off in a Dodge Neon.

During an ensuing chase, Owens, police said, got out of the car and fired a gun three times at Worcester police Sgt. John Towns. Towns jumped back into his cruiser unhurt, police said. Owens took off in the Dodge which was later found on fire in another part of the city.

Shortly after 1 a.m., police went to 50 Franklin St. where, they say, Owens robbed a pizza deliveryman, firing several shots. He then stole the delivery car with the man's wife inside, police said. As the car careened through city streets, the terrified woman pleaded to be let go. The suspect left the woman at Franklin and Main streets and headed toward the city's Kelley Square area.

Police, who had ordered the SWAT team on duty, saw the car on Interstate 290 east.

The stolen car, which had a flat tire, sped onto Shrewsbury Street toward Rte. 9. Alerted by Worcester, Shrewsbury police set up their positions at the shopping center.

The stolen car swerved across the travel lane and plowed into Benoit's cruiser. Pursuing Worcester police, their guns drawn, dragged a battling Owens out of the car, authorities said. Police found a .380 Jennings semi-automatic under the driver's seat.

Owens, of 63 Harrison St., Apt. 21, Worcester, was arraigned yesterday morning in Worcester District Court on city charges of armed assault with intent to murder, armed carjacking, kidnapping, carrying a firearm without a permit, possession of ammunition without a permit, assault and battery on a police officer, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and multiple motor vehicle violations.

Shrewsbury police said they will be filing charges as early as today against Owens.
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