Officers struck, RI man arrested after Springfield police chase

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The two men – including one from Rhode Island – accused of going on a crime spree that started in Enfield, Connecticut and ended in Springfield, pleaded not guilty to a long list of charges.

Police arrested Derek Fernandes of Pawtucket, Rhode Island and Melquon Alford of Springfield on Tuesday. They were ordered held on $100,000 bail at their arraignment Wednesday afternoon in Springfield District Court.

The two men are accused of committing an armed robbery at a 7-Eleven in Springfield,  running over two Springfield Police officers with their car, and leading police on a high-speed chase that ended when they crashed their car at the corner of Maple and Central Streets in Springfield.

Springfield Police Sgt. John Delaney told our sister station WWLP the crime spree started around 11:30 p.m. Monday, when police in Enfield issued a lookout for a car that was involved in a possible shooting.

Three hours later, around 2:45 a.m., Springfield Police were called to the 7-Eleven on Springfield Street for an armed robbery there. Sgt. Delaney said the suspects were armed with handguns and wearing masks.

While police were investigating the armed robbery, a Springfield Police officer spotted a car in downtown Springfield that matched the description given by Enfield Police earlier that night.

Springfield Police officers attempted to pull the car over on Boland Way. Police said that is when the driver sped off, hitting two officers with his car. Delaney said the officers fired shots at the car to try and stop the suspects, but they were able to get away.

Police said the suspects led police on a high-speed chase that went over the Memorial Bridge into West Springfield, down Route 5, and back into Springfield. The car then crashed on the corner of Central and Maple Street in Springfield.

Police are still searching for one suspect, who they said ran from police following the crash.

Fernandes, the alleged driver, was treated at Baystate Medical Center for a gunshot wound, then arrested Tuesday afternoon. Alford, an alleged passenger, was also arrested.

Fernandes faces the following charges:

  • Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon
  • Assault with a dangerous weapon
  • Armed robbery while masked
  • Failure to stop for police
  • Reckless operation
  • Carrying a firearm
  • Possession of firearm for a felony
  • Motor vehicle charges

Alford is being charged with:

  • Armed robbery
  • Carrying a firearm
  • Possession of firearm in the commission of a felony

Enfield Police are also investigating the incident, which means the suspects could still face additional charges in Connecticut.

Both men are due back in court in Springfield on December 1.