By GAIL LOWE
PELHAM, N.H. — A 30-year-old man from Wakefield was arraigned in Salem District Court, Salem, N.H. today on charges of receiving stolen property, operating a motor vehicle after his license was suspended, disobeying a police officer, resisting arrest, willful interference with police dogs and being a fugitive from justice.
Last night at about 11, the Pelham, N.H. Police Department was notified that police from Tewksbury and Massachusetts State Police were involved in a pursuit of a white van allegedly stolen by Michael Steele, 30, of Wakefield.
His last known address in Wakefield was 371 Albion St., said Wakefield Lt. Scott Reboulet.
Steele was reportedly traveling northbound on Mammoth Road that crossed into Pelham in a van stolen from a location in Billerica.
State Police and police in Tewksbury asked that Pelham police set up stop sticks in an attempt to stop the fleeing van but officers were unable to stop the van with the stop sticks on Mammoth Road. The pursuit then continued north into Windham, N.H. and east on Rte. 111.
At some point, Steele reportedly turned back south into Pelham and State Police and Windham police tried stopping the van as it approached Windham center.
Stop sticks were then successfully deployed on Rte. 111A in the area of the American Legion, also in Pelham. Steele continued to travel south through the center until he was forced to stop the van due to deflated tires.
Steele then immediately exited the van and began running away.
Multiple K-9 units from both the Massachusetts State Police and the New Hampshire State Police began tracking Steele and he was located approximately 45 minutes later on Old Bridge Street behind Pelham Front End.
Steele allegedly kicked a Massachusetts State police K-9 as police were trying to place him under arrest, resulting in an injury to his leg. After his arrest, he was transported to the Parkland Medical Center for treatment of the leg injury.
Steele is charged with receiving stolen property, operating after suspension of his license, disobeying a police officer, resisting arrest, willful interference with police dogs and being a fugitive from justice.
Two other occupants in the van were identified as Erin Casoli, 32, of Saugus and Michael LaCrosse, 32, Woburn.
The pair were arrested at the scene and charged with receiving stolen property. They appeared in the 10th Circuit District Division-Salem, N.H. today, along with Steele.
As a result of the K-9 track, the center of town in Pelham was closed for approximately 90 minutes. The van was impounded, pending a search warrant for additional stolen property.