A 25-year-old man was arrested in Swansea Tuesday afternoon after crashing into two police cruisers and fleeing, hiding in the forest after getting into a second accident, and eventually being struck by a pickup truck when he tried to cross Interstate 195, State Police said.
The episode began around 1:30 p.m. when Fall River police attempted to apprehend Cleveland Clay on a warrant for a domestic-related charge. In an attempt to evade police, Clay, of Fall River, struck two cruisers with his vehicle and fled toward Westport, said David Procopio, State Police spokesman. Westport police chased Clay onto I-195 but lost him.
Later, Clay crashed his vehicle near Route 24 and I-195 westbound, Procopio said. Clay abandoned the vehicle and entered a wooded area between the two highways.
Clay eventually came out of the woods and ran across I-195, where he was struck by the pickup. The driver pulled over, saw that Clay was suffering from a leg injury, and agreed to take him to a hospital, Procopio said.
A woman driving by reported to police that she saw a gold Dodge Ram hit a man and then drive him westbound on I-195 and over the Braga Bridge.
Police had tried to apprehend Cleveland Clay on a domestic charge.
State troopers then set up to intercept the vehicle further along I-195 on the Somerset-Swansea line.
After pulling the vehicle over, the troopers “observed the passenger with the seat all the way back, trying to stay out of view,” the State Police spokesman said.
The troopers approached the vehicle with guns drawn and had the driver step out, Procopio said. Troopers realized the passenger was injured, and called for an ambulance, which took Clay to Rhode Island Hospital, where he was placed under police custody.
Procopio said it appeared that Clay was suffering from a broken leg and was in stable condition.
The pickup driver told troopers that Clay had hidden a .380-caliber pistol under his dashboard. Fall River police determined that Clay did not have a license for the handgun. Fall River police also found a bag of crack cocaine in Clay’s abandoned vehicle, they said.
The driver was not arrested, as he was not aware of the criminal situation, police said.
Additional charges against Clay will be handled by Fall River police, but have not yet been made, Procopio said. He added that Clay will probably face charges of reckless operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, and drug and firearm possession.
Sarah N. Mattero can be reached at email@example.com.