Man denies stealing motorcycle, police pursuit
By ERIC FRANCIS
CORRESPONDENT | August 28,2013
PHOTO BY ERIC FRANCIS
Joey Bergeron, 32, of Weathersfield was held for lack of $15,000 bail Monday after he pleaded innocent to charges of stealing a motorcycle and leading police on a chase through Springfield on Friday morning.
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — A Weathersfield man who allegedly stole a motorcycle in Ludlow earlier this month and then, in a separate incident, allegedly led police on a high-speed chase through Springfield on a dirt bike Friday morning was in court Monday facing multiple felony charges.
Joey Bergeron, 32, pleaded innocent to aggravated operation of a vehicle without the owner’s consent, attempting to elude police and gross negligent operation before he was ordered held for lack of $15,000 bail.
Bergeron, who over the years has been convicted of nearly two dozen crimes including burglary, possession of stolen property and escape, has been charged as a habitual offender and could face “enhanced penalties” of up to life in prison if convicted of any of new charges.
“Mr. Bergeron has a history of violations of probation and parole on his rather extensive criminal record and the state notes that he currently has pending criminal cases in the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut,” Windsor County Deputy State’s Attorney David Cahill told Judge Katherine Hayes on Monday.
A swarm of police throughout the region spent much of Friday morning on the lookout for Bergeron after a pursuit of a dirt bike that began on Route 106 in Weathersfield wound through numerous downtown streets in Springfield.
Vermont State Police Trooper Nick Arlington said he was just finishing up an unrelated traffic stop when he recognized Bergeron as he zipped past him on a dirt bike “with an extremely loud muffler.”
Arlington wrote in his affidavit that he was already aware that Ludlow authorities wanted to question Bergeron about his alleged role in the theft of a three-wheeler Can-Am motorcycle taken from the driveway of one of Bergeron’s former employers earlier this month.
Arlington said even though he activated his blue lights and siren, Bergeron took off, going 60 mph in a 40 mph zone, passing lines of cars that had stopped for red lights, and going between two lanes worth of stopped vehicles on Park Street.
Despite the effort of several troopers and police from Springfield and Chester, Arlington said that Bergeron managed to lose his pursuers and witnesses later told police they saw the dirt bike speed out of town down Brockways Mill Road and later head west out Route 121 in Saxtons River.
Within hours, police received a tip that Bergeron had been given a ride by a resident of Saxtons River back to Springfield where troopers located him and arrested him without further incident.
Arlington said that when Bergeron was found his jeans were soaking wet below the knees and he was not wearing shoes or socks. He said the resident who gave Bergeron a ride out of Saxtons River reported that Bergeron had claimed to have been fishing and become stranded when his car broke down.