BRATTLEBORO -- Keith A. Cretelle Jr., was held without bail on Monday after a judge said his lengthy criminal history and his most recent alleged crimes posed a serious threat to the community.
The 36-year-old Bellows Falls man who has 25 prior convictions, including four felonies, pleaded not guilty to two felonies for attempting to elude police, a fourth DUI charge and two misdemeanors for gross negligence of a motor vehicle and driving with a suspended license.
Because of his status as an alleged habitual offender, Cretelle, who is facing up to life in prison, was sent to Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield to await his next court appearance, which has yet to be scheduled.
Windham County Superior Court Judge John Wesley called Cretelle a "menace to society," when describing why he was ordering him held without bail.
The new charges were a result of an incident on Sept. 7, when Officer Jeremy Desjardins of the Bellows Falls Police Department activated his emergency lights in an attempt to pull over a vehicle driven by Cretelle after he failed to come to a complete stop at an intersection.
Cretelle refused to pull over and continued onto I-91 where members of the Vermont State Police took over the pursuit.
Senior Trooper John Waitekus wrote in his affidavit that he saw Cretelle's vehicle along Route 5 in Putney at about 10 p.m., and followed it onto the interstate at speeds reaching 90 mph.
"The man ignored my orders and began to run," the trooper wrote.
Not seeing any weapon, Waitekus wrote that he holstered his gun and drew his Taser but it was ineffective because the probes struck several tree limbs before reaching the driver.
After a short foot pursuit, troopers were able to catch up to Cretelle and put him in handcuffs. When police took a sample of his breath, Cretelle's blood alcohol showed a level of .084, slightly over the legal limit.
Cretelle was initially held on lack of $10,000 bail but during his arraignment, the judge revoked bail because of his prior criminal record.
Josh Stilts can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311 ext. 273.