BURLINGTON -- A Burlington police officer fired two gunshots at a Maryland man and the minivan he was driving when police say the man attempted to run over the officer at the end of a police pursuit on Cambridge Street.
Burlington police said Robert Haught, 42, of College Park, Md., first came to police attention when an officer spotted a minivan idling, but empty, in a handicapped-parking space at the Burlington Mall at about 7 p.m.
That officer ran the license plate on the minivan and discovered the plate came back to a different vehicle, according to police. As the officer approached to investigate further, Haught snuck into the minivan's passenger-side door and sped away, according to police.
As the pursuit reached Cambridge Street, near Center Street, the minivan struck a Burlington police cruiser. Haught then drove onto Cambridge Street where an officer was directing traffic.
"The officer, fearing for his life, fired two shots from his service weapon as the suspect drove toward him at a high rate of speed," Burlington Police said in a press release.
The shots did not hit Haught, who then swerved around the officer and struck two other vehicles in the southbound lane of Cambridge Street.
Haught was arrested at the scene and charged with assault with intent to murder, attempted murder, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, leaving the scene of a property-damage accident, failure to stop for police, attaching plates, marked-lanes violations, speeding, reckless operation, and two counts of leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident.
Police said a stack of credit cards and electronics were in plain site in the minivan, and investigators believe Haught may be part of a credit-fraud ring. Police are seeking a search warrant for the minivan to further that investigation, and say more charges could be forthcoming.
A female driver in one of the vehicles Haught's minivan struck was taken to Lahey Medical Center with non life-threatening injuries. Two children who were in her car were not hurt, according to police.
Police did not identify the officer who fired the gunshots, but said he was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, which is standard procedure when an officer discharges a firearm.
Haught will be arraigned Tuesday in Woburn District Court.
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