A man’s erratic behavior in a Queensbury convenience store led to a low-speed pursuit of over 10 miles late Sunday that ended with police deflating the tires of the fleeing vehicle to get it to stop.
Police said a man from Rhode Island faces criminal and traffic charges after the chase that began around 10 p.m. Sunday, when Warren County sheriff’s officers were called by the staff at the Stewart’s Shops store at the intersection of routes 149 and 9L.
The staff there had become concerned about a man who repeatedly came in the store, wearing sunglasses and partially hiding his face with a bandanna, authorities said.
“They thought he was going to be a problem, that there might be a robbery,” Warren County sheriff’s Lt. Steve Stockdale said.
He fled east when sheriff’s officers arrived, passing through a red light and refusing to stop as he continued into Washington County, according to Stockdale.
The pursuit continued through Fort Ann into the town of Whitehall, officers from other agencies joining in, but the driver did not accelerate to any high speeds. Warren County officers were able to get ahead of the vehicle and set up on the side of the road to use “Stop Stick” tire deflation device to puncture the vehicle’s tires, Stockdale said.
The driver, Tyler B. Cicchetti, 34, of West Warwick, Rhode Island, fought with police once they got him to stop and tried to take him into custody, but no one was injured, authorities said.
Police found a rifle and illegal billy club in the vehicle, which was a rental car, and evidence that Cicchetti had been travelling around the country in recent weeks. Stockdale said the Sheriff’s Office was looking into what he was doing, and is sharing surveillance pictures of Cicchetti with his bandanna and outfit to see if he was involved in any crimes elsewhere.
Stockdale said Cicchetti had no real explanation for why he was in the region late Sunday, so it was unclear what his intent was.
He was charged with misdemeanor criminal possession of a weapon and unlawful fleeing of a police officer and issued numerous traffic tickets, and then arraigned and sent to Warren County Jail for lack of bail.