Wappingers Falls man leads chase, crashes into squad car, cops say

Carl Clark Jr., 31, of Wappingers Falls, faces

Carl Clark Jr., 31, of Wappingers Falls, faces numerous charges after allegedly committing a burglary, stealing a car and leading police on nine-mile chase. (Feb. 27, 2013) (Credit: Wappingers Falls Police Department)

A Wappingers Falls man suspected in a burglary led police from two agencies on a roughly 9-mile chase in a stolen car Tuesday before smashing it into a police car from a third agency that had joined the pursuit, injuring the officer and himself, police said.

Carl L. Clark Jr., 31, faces several charges, including at least two felonies, Wappingers Falls police Lt. John Birdsell said Wednesday.

The incident began Tuesday morning at 8:58 a.m., when Wappingers Falls police began chasing a white 2007 Honda that had been reported stolen Monday from a residence on Dutchess Avenue in the village and that had been seen Tuesday morning leaving the scene of a burglary at the same location, Birdsell said.


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Dutchess County Sheriff's Department cars joined the chase on Route 9 and followed the Honda through the Town of Poughkeepsie into the City of Poughkeepsie, where cars from the city police converged on the area of the pursuit, Birdsell said.

Clark, heading east on Main Street near the train station about 9:10 a.m., deliberately veered into oncoming traffic and crashed the Honda into a marked city patrol car headed west, said city police Sgt. Matt Clark, who is not related to the suspect.

Sgt. Clark declined to elaborate on why city police believe the crash was intentional.

"That's what we're alleging and the courts will decide," he said.

The officer was treated for nonlife-threatening injuries at Saint Francis Hospital and Health Centers in the Town of Poughkeepsie and was released, Sgt. Clark said.

Carl Clark was treated at the same hospital for minor injuries and was released to the custody of Wappingers Falls police, Birdsell said.

Wappingers Falls police charged him with second-degree burglary and second-degree unauthorized use of a vehicle, felonies; and the misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment, reckless driving and aggravated unlicensed operation, Birdsell said.

The burglary and car theft were related to a domestic dispute Carl Clark had with a resident at the Dutchess Avenue home, Birdsell told Newsday.

Charges are pending against Carl Clark in the City of Poughkeepsie and likely will include attempted aggravated assault against a police officer and auto theft, police said.

Carl Clark was arraigned Tuesday in Wappingers Falls Village Court and was sent to the Dutchess County Jail in the City of Poughkeepsie in lieu of $100,000 bail, Birdsell said. He is scheduled to return to court Thursday.

No information on his legal representation was immediately available Wednesday.

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