LEICESTER, Mass. — A Worcester man in a stolen ice-cream truck led police on a low-speed chase through Worcester, Leicester and Charlton on Wednesday morning before he was apprehended, police said.
The driver, later identified as Francis Baptiste, 30, was caught in Charlton after the drawn-out pursuit and faces multiple motor vehicle charges.
At 9 a.m., a general police broadcast said a 2012 freightliner ice cream delivery truck was reported stolen from Millbury Street in Worcester.
Less than an hour later, the truck was spotted traveling south on Park Avenue near the State Liquor Store, where police said they caught up with the truck.
Officers turned on the cruiser's lights, but Baptiste continued to travel approximately 18 mph in the right lane, police said.
He continued south on Park Avenue, going through a series of red lights into the Webster Square area, police said. At one point, he threw a beer bottle at the cruiser next to the truck, police said.
Several Worcester police cruisers followed the truck onto Stafford Street heading into Leicester.
State Police deployed stop sticks just east of Route 56, but Baptiste swerved and continued on Stafford Street and into Charlton.
Stop sticks used a second time flattened the truck’s two front tires, and it came to a stop.
Baptiste tried to get out of the truck but re-entered it as officers approached, police said. He locked the door and refused to come out. Police smashed the driver’s side window to get him out of the truck.
Baptiste was arrested and charged with using a motor vehicle without authority, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for a police officer, possessing an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle, throwing glass on a public way, operating a motor vehicle to endanger, six counts of failure to stop for a red traffic signal and two counts of marked lanes violations, police said.
Baptiste was transported to Worcester Police headquarters and will be arraigned Thursday at Worcester County District Courthouse.
The recovered stolen truck was towed to Arnies Garage in North Oxford. No injuries were reported.