The Enterprise, Brockton, Mass.
ROCKLAND — The town’s police chief was struck by an accused drunken driver Saturday night, which led to the man’s arrest after the chief pursued him.
Police Chief John Llewellyn was leaving the annual Holiday Stroll downtown event in an unmarked Ford Explorer cruiser when a pick-up truck drove through a red light about 9:30 p.m.
Police say Llewellyn was going through the intersection of Spring and Summer streets when the Ford truck drove through a red light and struck the rear passenger’s side of the chief’s vehicle.
The police chief attempted to avoid the collision, but his cruiser was hit and went off the road and onto the lawn of a nearby church.
After determining he and his passenger (his wife, Rockland police officer Susan Llewellyn) were not injured, the chief began to pursue the truck as it fled the scene.
Police say the driver, later identified as 65-year-old Richard Cirignano, fled down Summer Street. Using his cruiser’s lights, Llewellyn stopped the vehicle about a half-mile from the scene of the crash, in front of the Rockland Ice Rink.
Additional Rockland police officers responded to take over at the scene.
Police say they determined Cirignano was under the influence of alcohol during an on-scene investigation. He was taken into custody.
Cirignano, of Rockland, was arrested and charged with second-offense drunken driving, operating a motor vehicle to endanger, leaving the scene of a crash, failure to stop for a police officer, failure to stop at a red light and speeding.
In his booking photo released by police, Cirignano sports a large white beard, drawing Santa look-a-like comparisons.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Hingham District Court.
©2018 The Enterprise, Brockton, Mass.
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