MANCHESTER, NH – A woman accused of dragging a Manchester Police officer and leading police on a chase throughout the city, reaching speeds of more than 70 mph, was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail.
Chelsie Bixby, 31, whose address in court documents is listed as 501 Somerville St., Apt. 3, but whose attorney said is homeless, entered not -guilty pleas in Hillsborough County Superior Court Northern District on Friday to charges of reckless conduct with a deadly weapon; reckless conduct; disobeying a police officer, and operating without a valid license.
In setting bail at $5,000 cash, Judge David Anderson said the state fell slightly short of providing clear and convincing evidence that Bixby was a danger to the community. However, he said the $300 cash bail the defense requested was insufficient. Should Bixby post bail, she is to live with her parents in Parsonsfield, Maine.
The incident began about 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, when Officer Eric Cooper was patrolling the area of East High and Belmont streets. He saw a car parked that was running with its lights on. A winter jacket was draped across the driver’s side window preventing him from seeing anyone inside.
Cooper said based on his experience, this was “unusual conduct” for the area.
Defense Attorney Sheila O’Donnell said her client is homeless and was sleeping in her car. She draped the jacket across the window, which was broken, to keep the cold air out.
Bixby was in the car. She identified herself to the officer but said she didn’t’ have her license on her. Police determined her license was expired but O’Donnell said Bixby thought it was valid.
As Cooper continued to talk with Bixby, she became uncomfortable and nervous. She pleaded he let her leave because, she said, she had done nothing wrong, Cooper wrote.
Other police cruisers arrived, and Bixby became “frantic,” according to Cooper.
“Fuck this, I’m not doing this right now,” he quoted her as saying as she put the car into drive and accelerated.
Cooper tried to open the car door, but it was locked. He reached through the window, which was down about five inches, to try and unlock it and ordered Bixby to stop.
Bixby, he said, accelerated, dragging him about 10 to 20 feet before he broke free and fell to the ground. Other officers pursued the fleeing car throughout the city.
State police joined in the pursuit as the accelerating car reached Interstate 93 South. Ultimately, the pursuit was called off because of the high speeds and after police lost sight of it.
Hours later, Londonderry police found the vehicle abandoned in the town.