High-speed pursuit ends in Nashua; police deploy spike strips to incapacitate vehicle

NASHUA – A 27-year-old man from the state’s North Country region is in police custody, awaiting a Tuesday arraignment on several charges stemming from a lengthy, high-speed police pursuit that ended in Nashua late Sunday night.

Nicholas Santy, a resident of the Grafton County town of Littleton, was apprehended by state and Nashua police after a roughly one-hour standoff on the Everett Turnpike Exit 3 off-ramp, where his pickup truck came to rest after the tires were flattened by spike strips, police said.

Santy was initially taken to a local hospital for treatment of unspecified injuries, which aren’t believed to be serious. He was subsequently charged with two counts of reckless conduct, Class B felonies, along with two misdemeanor counts each of disobeying a police officer and resisting arrest, police said.

It isn’t clear if, or when, Santy was released from the hospital. He would likely be taken to Valley Street jail upon his release to await Tuesday morning’s scheduled arraignment in Nashua district court.

State police said in a statement Monday morning that its dispatch center began receiving calls around 11:30 p.m. Sunday for what it called "a hazardous operator" driving a Toyota Tundra pickup truck south on Interstate 93 in Concord.

A trooper who was on patrol in the immediate area spotted the truck, but when he attempted to stop it, the driver allegedly refused to pull over, police said.

The truck continued southbound on I-93 at speeds ranging from 50-100 mph, police said. Upon reaching the I-293 merge in Hooksett, the driver took the exit and continued south on I-293 into Manchester.

Police didn’t specify whether local police joined state police in the pursuit, nor how many cruisers were involved.

They did say that during the pursuit, police began receiving information from law enforcement agencies in the northern part of the state that the operator "may have been involved in other, unrelated crimes" in that area before he began driving south on I-93.

Police said that as dispatchers worked to clarify the information and relay continuous updates to troopers involved in the pursuit, Santy kept driving south through Manchester and into Bedford, where I-293 becomes the Everett Turnpike.

Nashua police, meanwhile, were alerted of the pursuit, which by then was going through Merrimack. Nashua officers positioned themselves in the area of Exit 5 and prepared to deploy sets of spike strips, devices designed to puncture and flatten tires almost immediately after a vehicle drives over them.

Advised that Santy had crossed into Nashua and was heading their way, the Nashua officers "successfully deployed the spike strips on the suspect vehicle," state police said.

Police, with weapons drawn, surrounded Santy’s truck, taking extra precautions because of reports that he might have been armed. Police closed the ramp to traffic as officers spoke with Santy, urging him to surrender peacefully.

After about an hour, Santy agreed to exit the truck and submit to arrest, according to State Police Lt. Nathaniel Noyes.

The ramp remained closed for another two hours, police said, to allow officers to conduct an investigation. Santy’s truck was later towed to an impound lot at State Police Troop B barracks in Bedford.

Police ask that anyone with any information about the incident to call Trooper Geoff Rogan at 223-4381.

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.