BOSTON (CBS) – The I-Team has learned just 10 days before Thomas Latanowich allegedly murdered a Yarmouth police officer, the State Police were trying to stop him for a traffic violation.
Latanowich, 29, of Somerville, allegedly failed to stop for State Police and ditched his car, taking off on foot. The pursuit began on Route 1 north near the Chelsea-Revere line just before 4:30 pm on April 3. State Police say they tried to stop the car because it was traveling in the breakdown lane.
“The vehicle did not stop and immediately exited the highway into a residential neighborhood along the Revere/Everett line,” a State Police spokesperson said. “Because of the vehicle immediately getting off the highway into a thickly settled area, and also because of weather affecting road conditions (rain), we did not pursue.”
The vehicle, which was registered to Latanowich’s father, was later found by the trooper in the Glenwood Cemetery in Everett. State Police say items found in the car lead them to believe Thomas Latanowich was driving the car.
Police used K9s to track Latanowich before the trail went cold. Latanowich did not have an active warrant at the time, but dispatchers who knew about his violent criminal record warned officers to use caution.
State Police Radio Communication: “Broadcast it to local police departments to BOLO for the subject. Again use extreme caution, knives and guns and drugs on the BOP, also active probation.”
Latanowich’s five-page driving record shows his license was suspended, but that pales in comparison to his extensive criminal record that has 111 entries.
In 2010, Latanowich was convicted of carrying a double edge switchblade, assault with a dangerous weapon and gun possession including a high-capacity feeding device. At one point, he was sentenced to four years in prison.
Latanowich was wanted on a probation violation for not being at home for a home visit and failure to appear for a drug test. He faced a maximum of seven months in jail when he allegedly opened fire on Officer Sean Gannon and his K9 partner, killing the 32-year-old officer and seriously injuring his dog.
Latanowich’s probation was scheduled to end November 1. Now he’s charged with murder, if convicted, he could spend the rest of his life in prison.