NEW DETAILS: Dartmouth Police arrest man who broke into home, fled police
By: News Staff
DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WLNE) -- Dartmouth Police arrested Michael Joseph Couto, 49, of Mattapoisett, after he allegedly attempted to run over an officer after fleeing the scene of a Tiverton break-in Saturday afternoon, according to a police report.
The report stated Sergeant Peter Canuel was following a 2005 Mercedes on Hixville Road in Dartmouth believed to be involved in the incident in Rhode Island where a man broke in to a Tiverton home and attempted to run over an officer with his vehicle while fleeing the scene.
Shortly after two officers were discussing the suspect vehicle over the scanner, Darmouth Police Sergeant Joseph G. Rapoza spotted the vehicle driving down Hixville Road.
"The operator looked directly at me and sighed, he then accelerated through the stop sign at that intersection," Rapoza wrote in the report.
The pursuit was discontinued once Couto reached speeds higher than 75 miles per hour.
"Couto was driving in such a manner that the lives and safety of the public were in danger," Rapoza wrote.
Couto then made an "abrupt U-turn," and attempted to strike a Dartmouth cruiser on the wrong side of the road.
"I observed him purposely cross over the center line and drive directly at Officer [Keith] Dacosta who was pulled over..." Sergeant Joseph G. Rapoza wrote in the report. "Thankfully Couto changed direction at the last second."
Officers later located Couto's vehicle abandoned on the Highland Avenue railroad tracks. Couto was soon after located by Massachusetts State Police air wing, and was taken into custody without incident.
Couto was issued a warrant and charged with breaking and entering during the daytime placing a person in fear, and two counts of larceny over $250. He was also charged with assault with a dangerous weapon (motor vehicle), failure to stop for police, speeding and negligent operation of a motor vehicle.
In court Monday, Couto's lawyer denied allegations of his attempted attacks on police officers. His bail was set at $10,000.