GILMANTON — A local man who police say has a lengthy motor vehicle record — including at least one drunk driving conviction — was arrested after police said he led them on a chase with two frightened children in the back seat.
The mother of one of the children, who allegedly allowed the man to drive the car, may also be charged, police said.
Sgt. Matt Currier said Sean Mulcahy, 41, of 15 Spaulding Road was arrested Saturday after refusing to stop for police sirens and blue lights and nearly hitting Currier’s cruiser. The pursuit, which unfolded over more than three hours, focused on an approximately two-mile section of town near the Rainbo Club housing development.
Currier said he decided against a potential high-speed chase when he saw two girls, ages 7 and 9, riding in the back seat. “They looked terrified,” Currier said. “I shut down the chase as soon as I saw their faces.”
One of the girls was Mulcahy’s daughter, Currier said. One was the daughter of the owner of the car, Amy Wentworth, 39.
Currier said police had been alerted by a caller from Alton just after 1 p.m. to a possible drunk driver in a 2003 Mercury Sable in the area. A car matching that description passed by on Places Mill Road, continuing onto Crystal Lake Road. Currier said he recognized the driver as Mulcahy, who is “known to (local police) extensively” because of his driving record.
Currier said he followed the car along Crystal Lake Road in a slow pursuit. Mulcahy put about a half-mile between himself and Currier, and then pulled over and ran out of the car, leaving the two children inside. The girls were taken into custody and eventually turned over to family members.
Currier said Mulcahy then took a Jeep parked outside a nearby Perkins Pond home that had the keys in the ignition and drove it a short distance, before seeing Currier and his cruiser on Hill Road, at which point Mulcahy fled the Jeep on foot.
Gilmanton and Alton police officers were aided in a foot search by the Gilford Police Department’s police dog, but the dog was unable to locate Mulcahy, he said.
Finally, police spotted Mulcahy in another car as it drove along near the Rainbo Club housing development on Crystal Lake Road about 4:30 p.m.
“He was a passenger in a car with some of his friends, and we knew of them, too,” Currier said.
Mulcahy, who does not have a valid license because of past driving convictions, had alcohol on his breath when he was arrested, Currier said.
Mulcahy was charged with operating while being a habitual offender, endangering the welfare of a minor, disobeying a police officer and theft of a motor vehicle. He was being held Sunday at the Belknap County Jail on $3,000 cash bail.
Currier said police are considering charging Wentworth with allowing an improper person to drive a vehicle, a misdemeanor.