On Wednesday December 18, 2013 at 6:35 PM the Canaan Police Department was informed that the Danbury Police Department was pursuing a vehicle on US Route 4. The vehicle was reported to be approaching Canaan at a high rate of speed. The 2013 Christmas in Canaan was in full swing, with hundreds of people in the downtown Canaan area. Canaan Police Officers deployed spike strips on US Route 4 near the Orange town line in an attempt to stop the vehicle before it reached crowded downtown Canaan. The vehicle struck the spike strips but continued to travel westbound on US Route 4 nearly striking Canaan Police Chief Samuel W. Frank II. Canaan Police officers pursued the now damaged vehicle on US Route 4 as it recklessly traveled through the crowded downtown Canaan area, while other Canaan Police Officers cleared numerous pedestrians from the road and sidewalks.
The vehicle continued to travel westbound on US Route 4 through Enfield and into Lebanon at a reduced speed because of the severe tire damage caused by the spike strips. The vehicle eventually came to a stop near the old Lebanon Junior High School on Bank Street where Canaan and Lebanon Police officers took the driver into custody. The driver of the vehicle was identified as twenty year old JAMES ALLEN MORSE of Concord, New Hampshire. Morse was charged with:
- Reckless Conduct with a Deadly Weapon – B Felony
- Disobeying a Police Officer – A Misdemeanor
- Driving after Suspension – Violation
Morse’s bail was set at $25,000 cash and he was transported to the Grafton County House of Corrections pending an arraignment in the 2nd Circuit Court on Thursday. Anyone who witnessed the event is asked to contact Sergeant Ryan R. Porter or Officer Samuel P. Provenza at the Canaan Police Department 523-7400 or by e-mail at RPorter@CanaanPolice.com or SProvenza@CanaanPolice.com.