Suspect in Tiverton house break captured in Dartmouth Friday

Michael Joseph Couto, 49, is accused of breaking into a house in Tiverton and trying to run over a police officer. Police said he was captured after an officer on a detail spotted him in Dartmouth. (Dartmouth Police Department photo)

DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) – A man accused of breaking into a house in Tiverton and trying to run over a police officer was captured after an officer on a detail spotted him Friday afternoon.

Dartmouth police reported Saturday that Sergeant Peter Canuel was on a detail on Hixville Road at about 12:45 p.m. when he spotted a Mercedes that was wanted for the Tiverton breakin.

Police said that the driver of that car had tried to run over a Tiverton police officer while fleeing from that scene. Tiverton Police Chief Thomas Blakey told Eyewitness News that the officer “sustained only a slight injury.”

Sgt. Canuel called the information in and followed the Mercedes in his personal vehicle until marked cruisers arrived; when the suspect spotted the marked cars he tried to hit one of them and fled.

Police found the Mercedes abandoned on railroad tracks near Highland Avenue a short time later and a State Police helicopter helped track the driver, who had fled on foot but was arrested without further incident.

He was subsequently identified as 49-year-old Michael Joseph Couto of Mattapoisett, and was charged with two counts of felony breaking and entering, two counts of larceny, assault with a dangerous weapon, failure to stop, negligent operation, speeding, and a marked lanes violation.