Michael L. Lyle, Chief
56 W. Foster St.
Melrose, MA 02176
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, Jan. 4, 2015
Contact: John Guilfoil
Melrose Police Department Arrests Man for 5th OUI Offense Overnight
Several Vehicles, including Multiple Police Cruisers, Damaged
MELROSE — Police Chief Michael L. Lyle reports that the Melrose Police Department arrested an intoxicated man overnight after he allegedly refused to stop for police, who closely followed him into Malden until he drove his vehicle into a frigid river and had to be rescued.
Melrose Police responded to an address on Spear Street at 1:30 a.m. Sunday for a report of an intoxicated male. Officers arrived to find JOHN KELLUM, AGE 42, OF MELROSE, allegedly driving a pickup truck. KELLUM had allegedly crashed into two parked vehicles on Spear Street and then rammed one of the responding Melrose Police Cruisers before driving off, leading Melrose Police, who followed and maintained visual contact at a safe distance, into the City of Malden. There, KELLUM allegedly drove at another Melrose Police Cruiser, causing the officer to swerve and strike a curb, causing a tire to separate from the wheel.
The impact of the crashes and trying to elude police also caused multiple flat tires on KELLUM’S vehicle, and he continued driving on the rims.
KELLUM eventually drove into the Malden River in Malden, and waded out in waist-deep water. The Malden Fire Department responded to assist him, but he swam away from them and taunted the responding firefighters. He finally was pulled from the water taken to an area hospital for treatment.
KELLUM is known to police. He does not have a valid driver’s license, and he was charged with:
- Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol (5th Offense)
- Operating a Motor Vehicle with a Revoked License
- Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle
- Failure to Stop for Police
- Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon — Vehicle\
- Leaving the Scene of a Motor Vehicle Accident (Three Counts)
- Use of a Motor Vehicle without Authority
No one else was injured, including the officers in the cruisers, who were unhurt.
Chief Lyle praised the vigilance and restraint showed by Melrose police officers.
“This was an extremely dangerous situation, in which a habitual offender with no valid driver’s license allegedly tried to run down police officers while he was under the influence of alcohol,” Chief Lyle said. “I am proud of the way my officers handled themselves, putting the safety of innocent residents above their own.”
Additional details will be released when they are available.