Man charged with abusing woman, baby before leading police on lengthy chase

Blackstone Valley

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — A Fall River man was arrested Sunday on domestic violence and child abuse charges after police say he led them on a chase through several Rhode Island towns that ended with him crashing in Cranston.

According to North Smithfield police, officers responded to Dowling Village Boulevard just after 8 p.m. Saturday for a report of a woman standing in the roadway holding an infant.

The woman told police she and her boyfriend had gotten into an argument while he was driving on nearby Eddie Dowling Highway. The man pulled over, she said, then got out of the vehicle and “forcibly removed” her from the vehicle by her hair and shirt and threw her to the ground. He then threw two child car seats on the ground, one of which had the woman’s 4-month-old baby strapped into it, police said.

The suspect, identified as Elijah Laferriere, 25, had driven off before police arrived on scene.

The woman suffered minor injuries, according to police, while the car seat containing the baby landed on its side, sparing the child significant injury. Police said witnesses provided aid to the woman and baby prior to first responders’ arrival.

After obtaining an arrest warrant for Laferriere, North Smithfield police were informed by Woonsocket police around 1 a.m. Sunday that officers were pursuing his vehicle on Route 146. North Smithfield police got involved once he entered their town, and the pursuit continued through Lincoln, North Providence, Providence and Cranston.

Police say Laferriere lost control of his vehicle on Park Avenue and hit a tree and a fence before continuing onto Cliffdale Avenue, where he crashed into another tree and came to a stop.

Laferriere was taken to Landmark Medical Center for evaluation then brought to the police station for booking. He was remanded to the ACI pending arraignment on Monday on charges of domestic simple assault, domestic disorderly conduct, cruelty or neglect of a child, disorderly conduct, eluding law enforcement, obstructing police, and possession of a controlled substance.

Additional charges may be pending, police noted, adding that the time of his arrest, Laferriere had two outstanding warrants on unrelated charges.

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