PLYMOUTH - A Bristol man accused of crashing into multiple vehicles, including two police cruisers, during a car chase in November is exposing himself to “massive amounts” of prison time in his quest to seek a better plea deal than the one a prosecutor offered him.
David Hughes, 30, of 71 Williams St., Bristol, turned down a plea bargain that would have included serving five years in prison, followed by five years of special parole, during a hearing Tuesday in Bristol Superior Court.
“I can’t even tally up his total exposure,” Jeffrey Lee, the state prosecutor who crafted the plea deal, said during the hearing. “We’re talking massive amounts of time.”
In saying no to Lee’s plea agreement offer, Hughes instead has opted for a judicial pretrial hearing, where a judge will hear from Hughes’ attorney and Lee, before offering a plea bargain. The state prosecutor advised Hughes that the charges in his case could be enhanced, based on a prior conviction for assault on a police officer.
Hughes is facing four counts of evading responsibility, two counts of assault on a police officer and one count each of disobeying the order of an officer, engaging police in pursuit, failure to stop for an emergency vehicle, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, fourth-degree larceny, interfering with police and a number of motor vehicle charges.
Based on the two charges alone of assault on a police officer, Lee said Hughes could be exposed to at least 20 years in prison. His pretrial hearing is scheduled for March 26.
Hughes, who is free on $50,000 bond, was arrested in December after he was seen on Nov. 2, shortly before 10 p.m., driving an Oldsmobile that had the same license plate as another vehicle it was traveling with at the intersection of Bemis Street and Harwinton Avenue, according to the arrest warrant. Officers also noted that Hughes appeared to match the description of the suspect in a recent attempted robbery in Plymouth.
Police tried to corner the Oldsmobile in after it pulled into a nearby driveway, but an officer said Hughes took off very fast and nearly struck the police cruiser, the warrant said. The officer chased the car, but he decided to call off the pursuit on Keegan Road for safety concerns.
Another officer then spotted the Oldsmobile on Todd Hollow Road and another chase was attempted, but it, too, was stopped.
An officer later found the Oldsmobile on North Harwinton Avenue, where he again tried to corner it into a driveway, but Hughes drove past the cruiser and, as he did, crashed into the vehicle’s driver side tire. The Oldsmobile then crashed into an unoccupied, parked car. The Oldsmobile continued driving and nearly struck another police cruiser in an escape attempt, the warrant said.
Hughes, police said, then fishtailed around a corner and struck another vehicle that was being driven by a civilian.
Then, at the intersection of South Riverside Avenue and Main Street, an officer again was able to corner the Oldsmobile in, while another officer approached the vehicle on foot, with his gun drawn. He demanded that the driver get out. The vehicle immediately reversed, narrowly missing the officer on foot, and backed into a police cruiser, according to the warrant.
The Oldsmobile then drove toward Bristol, and the pursuit was ended.
Police were later able to locate the vehicle first seen traveling with the Oldsmobile, and the driver was able to help identify Hughes as the suspect in the chase.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.