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Chase through Southtowns reaches 100 mph before DWI arrest

Mikol Rockwood

A high-speed chase through the towns of Orchard Park and Boston during the early morning hours Sunday reached speeds of more than 100 mph, involved three law enforcement agencies and lasted about a half hour before police caught up with the motorist and charged him with drunken driving.

The incident began at around 1:18 a.m. when police tried to stop a vehicle speeding southbound on South Abbott Road, near Newton Road, Orchard Park police said.

The vehicle turned around on South Abbott and ducked behind St. Bernadette Church for a short time in hopes of dodging law enforcement, said Lt. Jason Schiedel of the Orchard Park police.

But police were there when the vehicle re-emerged, and the pursuit continued.

The chase continued through the southern part of the town, including Armor Duells Road, Powers Road and Chestnut Ridge Road. As many as five law enforcement vehicles were in pursuit, and involved the State Police and the Erie County Sheriff's Office, Schiedel said.

"It was in excess of 100 mph at times," Schiedel said. "Thankfully, that time of night, there weren't a lot of vehicles on the street and the weather was decent."

At one point, police tried to end the pursuit by using "Stop Sticks" – which are placed across the road to deflate a vehicle's tires – but it was unsuccessful because they didn't know where the driver would head next.

The chase eventually ended up on Boston State Road in Boston at the suspect's residence at around 1:42 a.m. – about 24 minutes after it had started.

"He pulled into the driveway and started running up to the house," Schiedel said. "Police were able to tackle him there and take him into custody."

Police arrested Mikol Rockwood, 27, and charged him with driving while intoxicated; first-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle because of a prior DWI conviction, a felony; third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation; resisting arrest; third-degree unlawfully fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle and 25 additional traffic violations.

Rockwood also has a warrant out for him in Buffalo, Schiedel said. Charges also are pending from State Police for traffic violations that occurred in adjoining towns.

Rockwood was arraigned Sunday morning in Orchard Park Town Court before Justice Edward Pace.

Bail was set at $1,500 cash or $5,000 bond. He was being held at the Erie County Holding Center, Schiedel said. A felony hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.

Involved in the pursuit were Orchard Park Officers Kelly Wyrough, Greg Sheppard, Michael Mackey and Lt. Patrick Fitzgerald.

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