Pelham man sentenced for high-speed pursuit
BRENTWOOD — A Pelham man began serving a 4- to 8-year prison sentence on Wednesday for setting off a high-speed pursuit by Pelham and Windham police and nearly hitting two police officers with his car before being shot at.
Grant Hebert, 22, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree assault, reckless conduct, aggravated drunken driving and six other charges on Wednesday as part of a negotiated plea deal with county prosecutors.
Hebert fled from a traffic stop initiated by Pelham police Officer Eugene Stahl on the night of Oct. 28 and crashed his car.
Hebert drove between 80 to 90 mph just before losing control of his car and going off Lowell Road in Windham. Windham Officers Christopher Van Hirtum and Shane Mirisola joined the pursuit once Hebert’s car reached their town.
Hebert steered through two large boulders and into a field. He then plowed through a gate, directing his car at Van Hirtum and Mirisola, prosecutors said.
The officers opened fire on Hebert believing their lives were in danger, according to prosecutors.
“Officer Mirisola had to jump out of way from being hit,” Assistant County Attorney Jerome Blanchard said.
The two Windham officers and Stahl opened fire on the car as it came toward them.
Hebert’s car struck the Pelham police cruiser. He tried to flee again prompting Mirisola to fire a second round of bullets into the vehicle, according to prosecutors.
Blanchard said that Hebert sustained injuries from bullets ricocheting off his vehicle, but was lucky he was not seriously injured from 21 shots fired by the three officers.
“It’s amazing he is here to plead guilty today,” Blanchard said.
Judge Marguerite Wageling accepted the plea deal, and ordered that Hebert lose his driver’s license for two years. He will also have to install an interlock device on his vehicle. Hebert was ordered to pay more than $7,036 for damage to the Pelham police cruiser.
An investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office concluded that Hebert’s driving posed enough of a threat to justify the use of deadly force.
Prior to striking the plea deal, defense lawyer Adam Bernstein asked a judge to throw out incriminating statements his client made to police, along with blood test results and other medical information.