Worcester County

Police: Man led officers on chase after firing gun, crashing car with 2 small children in back seat

SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass. — A man was arrested on several charges stemming from a high speed chase with two small children in the back seat, according to authorities.

Multiple officers responded to the area of Hook and Central Street around 9:00 p.m. on July 17 after hearing what they believed to be gun shots coming from a black SUV, according to the Southbridge Police Department. Law enforcement officials say the driver of the SUV, identified as 39-year-old Luis Santiago, refused to stop for police and took off at a high rate of speed.

Officers say while pursuing Santiago, they noticed two children, ages 4 and 6, in the back seat.

Santiago continued to evade officers, eventually crashing the SUV into a fence on Thomas Street, according to police. It is unknown if the children were injured in the crash.

Upon further investigation, police say Santiago was wearing an empty holster and found a 9mm hand gun on the floor, along with four spent shell casings and multiple empty nip bottles scattered throughout the car. His eyes were bloodshot and he appeared to be intoxicated, according to officers.

Police say they also found another spent shell casing at the intersection of Hook and Central Street.

Santiago was charged with multiple gun offenses, OUI, reckless endangerment of a child and destruction of property. He was held without bail and was arraigned on July 18.

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