For Immediate Release: 11/7/2017 10:26 pm
Worcester, MA (November 7, 2017) - On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, a Worcester Police officer assigned to the Operations Division, riding in the Emergency Operations Vehicle (EOPS), was on routine patrol in the downtown area. At approximately 4:00 PM, the officer was in traffic at the beginning of Grafton Street while heading towards Franklin Street by Union Station. At this time the officer observed two males in a 2013 Toyota Corolla make a right turn without using its turn signal. The officer entered the vehicle license plate into the cruiser computer. The officer was informed that the vehicle was reported stolen on November 1, 2017.
The officer followed the vehicle onto Franklin Street where he then activated his emergency lights and signaled the driver to stop. The vehicle did not stop initially but eventually pulled over near Groton Place.
The officer began to call out his location on the radio when the driver suddenly took off. The driver of the Toyota was operating erratically and committed numerous traffic offenses. Eventually the driver lost control of the Toyota and crashed as he attempted to turn onto Thorne Street from Orient Street. The driver crashed into another motor vehicle that was stopped at the stop sign on Thorne Street.
After the crash, the two males exited the Toyota and fled the scene on foot. The driver of the Toyota, later identified as Luis Matos, 18-years-old of 4 Wakefield Street, was observed trying to run from the scene while holding onto something with both hands. When Mr. Matos took a couple more steps the officer observed a metallic object fall from the suspect and onto the street. Mr. Matos continued to run away. As the officer approached the object he immediately recognized the object to be a handgun. The officer continued to chase after Mr. Matos while another officer remained behind with the gun.
The officer quickly gained on Mr. Matos and he was subsequently apprehended.
The passenger was last seen running down Chrome Street and out of sight somewhere on Wall Street. Numerous officers arrived at the scene and conducted an extensive search for the second suspect. The search was eventually called off with negative results.
Due to the time of day, the accident and heavy police presence, traffic began to substantially back up. The officer keeping watch over the firearm called out that a large crowd was starting to gather around him.
The officer walked Mr. Matos back to the crash scene. Members of the WPD Gang Unit arrived and identified Mr. Matos as a member of a local gang. The officers conducted a brief search of the immediate reachable areas within the Toyota. The cursory search produced a glassine bag that contained marijuana; officers also located a medium sized gray bag that contained a mason jar that had more marijuana in it. The officers also discovered additional marijuana wrapped in aluminum foil along with a digital scale and a box of plastic sandwich bags.
An ambulance was called to the scene to check on the occupants in the other vehicle that was struck by the Toyota. The occupants were not hurt and cleared from the scene.
WPD Crime Scene Unit arrived and took possession of the firearm.
Mr. Mason was charged with Improper Storage of a Firearm, use of a Firearm During the Commission of a Felony, Possession of a Firearm without an FID, Possession of Ammunition without an FID, Carrying a Loaded Firearm without a License, Receiving a Stolen Motor Vehicle, Failure to Stay within Marked Lanes, Failure to Stop for a Stop Sign, Failure to Use a Directional Signal, Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Suspended License, and Possession of Class D Substance with the Intent to Distribute.
Mr. Matos was not injured during this ordeal.
Mr. Matos will be arraigned on Wednesday, November 8, 2017, at the Worcester County District Courthouse.