By Marjorie Nesin
---- — Police are holding one fugitive from justice without bail and another man on $500 bail, after a drug investigation led to a police chase and the subsequent arrest of the pair Monday afternoon.
Latrell Ayers, a 28-year-old Alabama man who had been living in Gloucester, and Dorchester resident Tobias E. Ward, 34, were charged with possession of “crack” cocaine with intentions to distribute the class B drug, according to city police, who noted that both men are facing additional charges.
The two were arraigned in Gloucester District Court Tuesday, with Ayers held on $500 bail on the drug charges and that bail added to a pre-existing $300 bail on charges in another case.
Ward was held without bail on fugitive warrants out of two states, pending extradition proceedings, as well as an additional $10,000 bail on the new charges that resulted from Monday’s arrest.
According to police, officers carrying out surveillance at Grant Circle had apparently spotted Ward as he drove near the Cape Ann Plaza just off the circle Monday about 4:30 p.m.
When Ward spotted the police, he allegedly swerved onto the sidewalk and swiped telephone poles — with three passengers along for the ride, including the 4-year-old daughter of the vehicle’s owner, Charlene Whitt of Dorchester, as well as Whitt and Ayers, Police Chief Leonard Campanello said.
“He began driving erratically, driving up and over sidewalks and scraping against telephone poles, in an attempt to evade,” Campanello said.
Police managed to stop the vehicle “a short distance later,” according to Campanello. Massachusetts State Police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which had assisted with the investigation, also helped with arrests.
Police detained Ayers quickly as he exited the vehicle, and then arrested Ward, charging him with unlicensed driving and being a fugitive from justice after a check of records confirmed that he is unlicensed and wanted in both Louisiana and Texas.
Ward also faces charges of resisting arrest, operating to endanger, unlicensed driving, child endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident that caused property damage.
Ayers was arraigned on the crack cocaine charges, resulting in his $500 bail, plus he faces another $300 in bail on charges of domestic assault and battery and cocaine possession that had resulted from a separate arrest last Monday afternoon at a Main Street home.
In that case, officers responding to a 911 hangup call had found Ayers screaming at a woman, then observed cocaine on a table, police said. The woman told police that Ayers “came at her and contact (was) made” while she was holding an infant, according to police.
Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.