Police Chief Ryan Columbus is pleased to announce that the Tewksbury Police Department’s midnight shift was commended for using teamwork to safely arrest a suspect who fled from police during an apparent drug-induced crisis. 

On Friday, Nov. 17, Officer Matt O’Brien, Officer Patrick Ryan, Sgt. Joe Mendonca, and Lt. Colin Trelegan were issued commendations for their calm and professional response.

On Tuesday, Nov. 7, at approximately 3:41 a.m., Tewksbury Police were called to the area of Van Buren Road by a man who said he believed he had been drugged. The caller was sitting in a vehicle outside a home on Van Buren Road and called 911 himself. 

Responding officers made contact with the caller, but the caller did not believe that officers were actually police officers though they were in full uniform and driving marked cruisers. Officers attempted to de-escalate the situation by reassuring the caller that they were police and displaying their badges. 

Dispatchers from the Northern Middlesex Emergency Regional Communication Center remained on a phone line with the caller throughout the incident, repeatedly reassuring him that police were on scene, and urging him to comply with police. 

The caller, later identified as David Frampton, age 46, of North Hampton, N.H., eventually drove away from police, cutting through a nearby yard. Tewksbury Police Officers pursued the vehicle down Van Buren Road as Frampton drove through several yards. Officers were eventually able to use their vehicles to box in Frampton’s vehicle without any collisions occurring between police vehicles and Frampton’s vehicle.

Sgt. Joe Mendonca then used a window-breaking device to smash the driver’s side window of the vehicle Frampton was driving, and officers were then able to safely remove Frampton from the vehicle and take him into custody. There were no reported injuries.

Frampton was arrested on charges that include operating under the influence of drugs. He was arraigned in Lowell District Court on Nov. 8. 

“This was an amazing job by these officers,” the commendation states. “Their ability to remain calm and level-headed in this high stress, dynamic situation is commendable. Despite the stressfulness of the situation, they still remained professional and respectful with the caller. They spoke to him calmly and tried to reassure him who they were and why they were there. Even when the caller fled, they kept their calm and wits about them and managed to bring the situation to a peaceful resolution where no one got hurt.”

“This was all-around incredible work by both dispatch and the officers who remained calm and de-escalated the situation, which became dangerous and volatile,” said Chief Columbus. “The professionalism and teamwork displayed here by both officers and dispatchers is incredible.”

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