Police Arrest Man Alleged to Have Struck Two Haverhill Cruisers with Stolen U-Haul Van

(Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News.)

A homeless Haverhill man who is said to have struck two Haverhill police cruisers Friday night with a stolen U-Haul van, was ordered held without bail during his arraignment yesterday in Haverhill District Court.

Thirty-two-year-old Ryan M. Messina was arrested Friday night around 8:30 by Haverhill Police on two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of leaving the scene of an automobile accident, reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, failing to stop for police, driving a stolen automobile, possession of drugs and being a fugitive from justice.

Patrolman Kevin O’Brien reported he was sent to a Monument Square convenience store for a report of a stolen Chevrolet U-Haul van where he encountered Messina sitting in the driver’s seat at a gasoline pump. O’Brien said Messina “appeared to panic,” put the truck into drive and struck the police cruiser before heading north on Main Street.

Messina reached speeds in excess of 70 miles per hour and crossed back and forth between Haverhill and Plaistow and Atkinson, N.H. He eventually returned to Haverhill via Hilldale Avenue, where he struck another Haverhill police cruiser that was driven by Patrolman Justin Graham before it was disabled with a flat tire. After another trek into New Hampshire, Messina returned to the fields near the American Legion in Haverhill where his truck became stuck in snow and he was arrested.

Upon Messina’s arrest, police discovered a New Hampshire warrant for him. Police also found what appeared to be fentanyl residue, bloody wipes, gabapentin pills prescribed to someone else, used hypodermic needles, several other bags of needles, drug paraphernalia, two knives and other belongings.

Messina, who was also ordered to spend 10 days in jail on a previous suspended license case, returns to court via online conference April 9.

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