Mcallister arrested

Zachariah McAllister

SAXTONS RIVER, Vt. — A man wanted on drug charges and for allegedly leading police on a high-speed car chase 11 days ago was found hiding under a bed in a Saxtons River home Saturday.

Police arrested Zachariah A. McAllister, 28, 10 days after he allegedly led police on a high-speed pursuit into Walpole that caused a lock-down at schools and businesses.

McAllister, 28, was wanted on several charges, according to a news release from Vermont State Police: four counts of selling fentanyl, eluding law enforcement officers and careless and negligent operation of a vehicle. He also had a warrant out of Massachusetts for the delivery or sale of heroin.

Vermont State Police troopers worked with Bellows Falls Police officers to investigate and track down McAllister, the release says. They surrounded a house at 36 Main St. in Saxtons River and removed the occupants, according to the release. Police then searched the house and found McAllister hiding under a bed.

He’s being held without bail and is slated for arraignment Monday at 12:30 p.m. in Vermont Superior Court’s Windham Criminal Division.

State police are investigating “those who knowingly harbored the wanted fugitive,” according to the release, so more criminal charges are possible.

The chase on Sept. 11 began when Brattleboro police Officer Ryan Washburn pulled McAllister over in a parking lot for an active arrest warrant, according to an affidavit Washburn wrote.

McAllister had missed his August arraignment on a charge of driving on a suspended license, according to court records. After the officer told McAllister he was under arrest, McAllister sped away, Washburn wrote.

Walpole police later spotted McAllister traveling more than 100 mph on Route 12, the department said. McAllister crashed into a Nissan Sentra and fled on foot, according to a news release.

During the search, Walpole elementary and primary schools, on Bemis Lane and Bemis Lane extension, were placed under lockdown by the Cheshire County Sheriff’s Office. Walpole Village School, a daycare and preschool on Westminster Street, was likewise put under lockdown and local businesses were advised to do the same.

The multi-agency search ended after about four hours, and Walpole police said at the time they suspected McAllister had crossed the Connecticut River into Vermont.

Sierra Hubbard can be reached at 355-8546 or at shubbard@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter at @SierraHubbardKS.