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Dorchester man in custody for Neponset Circle incident that led State Police to fire at fleeing car

A Dorchester man remains under guard at Massachusetts General Hospital today following his arrest Tuesday night in Lynn on charges that he drove a stolen car into a state trooper in Dorchester last week, officials said.

Robert Paul, 40, allegedly was behind the wheel of a stolen Toyota Yaris last Thursday when Trooper Scott Flaherty and other troopers tried to pull the car over during the morning rush hour near Neponset Circle.

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According to Suffolk District Daniel F. Conley’s office, Paul is now expected to be arraigned Thursday after an attempt to start the criminal case against him did not take place as expected.

Flaherty was knocked to the ground by the car, prompting troopers to open fire on the vehicle that was heading into Boston from Quincy over the Neponset River Bridge. Flaherty and the other troopers were working a paid detail at the state highway department’s construction site there.

Flaherty suffered back and ankle injuries and has since been released from the hospital.

The incident led to a massive State and Boston police response, including the use of a State Police helicopter, K-9 units, and a SWAT team, in Dorchester, where the Yaris was found abandoned.

State Police spokesman David Procopio said today that evidence recovered from the stolen car included bloodstains, which indicated the driver was wounded. He said Paul has what appears to be a gunshot wound to one of his legs, and is being treated for that injury at the hospital.

Paul is the second man arrested in connection with the case. Police last week charged Brandon Smith with receiving the stolen car after a search through Dorchester led police downtown. Procopio said authorities have not ruled out additional charges against Smith.

Procopio said State Police interviewed Smith and a second man, interviewed other people, and eventually learned Paul’s identity.

“The State Police Crime Scene Services Section and the State Police Crime Lab began working on the forensic evidence recovered from the vehicle. Through their work, we received confirmation of Robert Paul as the suspect,” said Procopio.

Procopio said investigators searched a couple of locations in Dorchester last night looking for Paul, but did not find him.

Later, State Police went to Bond Street in Lynn where one of his relatives lives, police said.

“We went to the apartment, but missed him,” said Procopio. “We knew we had probably missed him by a few minutes, so we searched the area and a trooper found him hiding in the back of a van.”

According to Suffolk District Daniel F. Conley’s office, Paul may be arraigned in his hospital bed today, depending on his medical condition.

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