At around 7:30PM on Saturday night, a Massachusetts State Police trooper assigned to the Athol Barracks, was patrolling in Gardner when he ran a license plate of a 2013 Chevrolet Impala with a suspended registration. While trying to pull over the vehicle, the driver pulled into a CVS parking lot at a high rate of speed nearly striking several vehicles, according to police. While the getaway continued, the driver, later identified as 28 year old Thomas LaFrance of Webster, struck a snow bank and the vehicle became stuck.
State Police say, LaFrance eventually exited the vehicle and began a struggle with the trooper. LaFrance re-entered the vehicle and appeared to “retrieve something or hide something” according to police. The trooper deployed his taser to gain control of the situation and put the suspect into handcuffs.
LaFrance was transported to Heywood Hospital in Gardner to have the taser probes removed, then was transported to the State Police Athol Barracks for booking. At that time, a bag containing approximately 60 grams of fentanyl was seized.
The suspect was charged with several motor vehicle violations, as well as furnishing a false name to police, resisting arrest, assault and battery on a police officer, malicious destruction of property and trafficking in fentanyl.
After his arrest it was also learned that he had an active default arrest warrant for possession of a class A drug out of Woburn District Court.
LaFrance was held without bail and was transported to the Franklin County House of Correction, pending his arraignment Monday morning in Gardner District Court.