HOOKSETT — With the help of a state police aircraft, troopers said they arrested a man who crashed his car with two children in it and ingested a large quantity of drugs before leading police to a local grocery store early Monday where he was arrested.
State police Sgt. Paul Hunt said Eric B. Smith, 29, of Concord, was arrested on an outstanding warrant after a traffic control aircraft clocked the 2012 white Nissan Versa sedan he was driving doing 82 mph while going south on Interstate 93 around 8 a.m.
According to a state police press release, Trooper First Class Dan Needham made the initial stop, but Smith drove away as Needham walked up to the car.
Hunt said Needham followed the Nissan at high speeds until Smith got off the highway at Exit 11 in Hooksett and began maneuvering through local streets.
“We backed off from the pursuit,” said Hunt. “There was no reason for us to be pursuing the vehicle at high speeds once you get into densely populated areas.”
The aircraft followed Smith’s car on Route 3 to Market Basket in Hooksett at 30 Market Drive, off Exit 10, where he parked near the back of the parking lot, police sai. With the help of Hooksett and Manchester police, troopers closed off each exit to the store and parking lot.
“We found a male suspect walking along the side streets. He was identified and there was an active warrant for his arrest,” said Hunt.
Hunt said police, through use of Market Basket video surveillance, were able to identify the driver and three passengers, including a 28-year-old woman and her 6- and 8-year-old children, who were in the car with him during the pursuit.
In addition, investigators said Smith was involved in a crash earlier at the Hooksett Transfer Station while trying to elude officers, and also allege he ingested a “large quantity” of narcotics while fleeing police, which prompted them to take him to Catholic Medical Center for treatment. Smith was booked on several charges, including an outstanding warrant for escape and probation violation connected to an unrelated arrest in Maine.