Officer injured, civilians help police catch suspect who escaped custody twice in Northfield

Franklin County

NORTHFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A police officer was injured and a suspect is in custody after an hours-long chase in Northfield Friday night. 

Northfield Police Department Chief Robert Leighton told 22News multiple agencies and even civilians assisted with capturing a suspect who escaped police custody while he was still in handcuffs during booking. 

The hours-long search began when a Northfield Police officer spotted an individual who matched the description of a suspect wanted on a warrant around 3:30 p.m.  

The suspect allegedly gave the officer a fake name at first, but he was later identified as 23-year-old Christopher Shepherd. Chief Leighton said Shepherd ran away from the officer, initiating a brief foot-chase in the Main Street area. An off-duty Leyden Police officer who was in the area was able to assist the Northfield officer in arresting Shepherd. 

Chief Leighton said Shepherd did not give up on escaping police. While waiting at the Northfield Police Department to be booked, Shepherd allegedly left the room and ran out of the police station and into a wooded area with handcuffs still on. 

Multiple police departments including State, Greenfield, Erving, Gill, Warwick, and Wendell were called in to assist. Northfield Police also requested Airwing assistance. 

Around 9 p.m., a group of civilians at the Northfield Golf Club, located at 31 Holten Street, spotted Shepherd and were able to detain him until authorities arrived. 

Shepherd was taken to the Franklin County House of Corrections after being arrested. He is facing multiple charges including a felony warrant, resisting arrest, intimation of a witness, malicious destruction of property, escape and giving police false identification.

The extent of the Northfield Police officer’s injuries is unknown and his identity has not been released.

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