Suspect in chase taken to hospital; Driver faces multiple charges following pursuit

NASHUA – Nicholas Santy, the northern New Hampshire man who allegedly led police on a lengthy pursuit that ended in a two-hour standoff early Monday morning in Nashua, was ordered transported to a Manchester hospital Tuesday morning after he waived arraignment on the series of charges he now faces.

Court documents filed later Tuesday in Nashua district court offer little additional information as to the circumstances that prompted Santy, listed on various websites as both a volunteer and paid firefighter and ambulance attendant, to get onto I-93 somewhere north of Concord and allegedly lead state and local police on a nearly 40-mile pursuit that a set of spike strips finally ended on the Everett Turnpike at Exit 3.

Santy, 27, of 42 Grove St., Littleton, amassed 10 charges in two jurisdictions during the incident, which began when a state trooper tried to pull him over on I-93 in Concord for allegedly speeding and driving recklessly.

Five charges were filed in Concord district court and five in Nashua district court, all by state police, according to court documents.

The Nashua set of charges includes two felony counts of reckless conduct – dangerous weapon, which accuse Santy of "swerving at other motorists while being pursued by police, in an attempt to run them off the road" while driving on the Everett Turnpike in Nashua.

The other three charges filed in Nashua – resisting arrest or detention, reckless operation and disobeying a police officer – are Class A misdemeanors alleging that Santy endangered others by driving at 100 mph on the turnpike, refused to stop for police, and refused verbal commands to exit his vehicle for two hours.

Those filed in Concord include two misdemeanor counts of disobeying a police officer, for allegedly failing to stop for pursuing officers, and three violation-level offenses accusing Santy of crossing a divided median, backing up his vehicle against traffic and endangering others by driving at 100-plus mph.

Probable cause hearings have been set for March 1 in Nashua district court, and for March 7 in Concord district court.

Nashua district court Judge Paul Moore granted Santy’s waiver of arraignment, and amended his $5,000 cash bail to $5,000 personal recognizance, effective upon his admission to Elliot Hospital in Manchester for mental health treatment, according to the bail order.

Documents show that Santy is being represented by Attorney Mark Stevens, a Salem-based lawyer known for defending people charged with drunk driving, drug possession and license-suspension offenses.

While the pursuit itself lasted barely half an hour, state and Nashua police spent another two hours "trying to reason" with Santy after his vehicle, a Toyota Tundra pickup whose tires had been flattened by spike strips, crashed into a guardrail and a bridge abutment on the Exit 3 off-ramp and came to a rest in a snowbank.

Police surrounded the vehicle and tried to talk to Santy, but, according to the reports, he "would not exit the vehicle or respond to the commands of police."

"For nearly two hours, (police) tried to reason with the suspect," the reports state. At some point, police said, Santy "cut both of his wrists," and that he appeared to be drinking a bottle of wine.

Eventually, they said, state and Nashua police "were able to remove (Santy) from the vehicle and place him in custody."

Police on Monday said that during the pursuit, police began receiving information from law enforcement agencies in the northern part of the state that Santy "may have been involved in other, unrelated crimes" in that area before he began driving south on I-93, but court documents didn’t address that possibility.

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