In the early hours of Jan. 25, a Colchester resident led multiple police departments on a pair of high-speed chases through Chittenden County.
Paul Macleod, 53, of Colchester, was later arrested in Burlington for three offenses--one being for an alleged assault in the parking area of the Hannaford located on Essex Way in Essex.
Around 12:15 a.m., the Essex Police Department (EPD) responded to Essex Way for a call of an assault in progress. Upon arrival, an Essex officer is said to have witnessed a vehicle driving directly towards a pedestrian who was later identified as the victim of the original call. The officer attempted to conduct a motor vehicle stop, but the subject reportedly fled the scene in a white Chevrolet Trax.
That turned into a pursuit which reached speeds in excess of 80 mph. Supporting officers determined there was no serious injury to the alleged victim, and the suspected operator and motor vehicle could be positively identified; the pursuit was terminated at that point.
Police issued a ‘be on the lookout’ for both the vehicle and the operator. The reported victim then called in to say that the same driver was seen on Pearl Street in Essex Junction.
Officers from multiple agencies were already in the area attempting to locate the said party or the automobile, and a Colchester police officer later located the vehicle in question. They attempted to make contact with the operator, but a second pursuit was then initiated without the involvement of EPD. The vehicle was eventually stopped on North Avenue in Burlington where Macleod was taken into custody for the offense in Essex.
In addition to the Aggravated Assault charge, Macleod was also booked for Gross Negligent Operation and Attempting to Elude. He was not able to post the set bail of $10,000 and was then lodged at the Chittenden Regional Correctional Facility.
As of EPD’s Jan. 25 press release, the investigation into the incident was still ongoing.