A 39-year-old Fall River man who carjacked a senior citizen, robbed a city convenience store and drove the wrong way down a one-way street in an attempt to elude police was sentenced to serve 12 to 15 years in state prison last week, District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III announced.

Paul Gagne, a habitual offender, pleaded guilty to a multiple-count indictment charging him with carjacking, larceny of a motor vehicle, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person over 60 (two counts), unarmed robbery and operating a motor vehicle to endanger last week in Fall River Superior Court.

On July 24, 2014 at 8:45 am, Fall River Police were dispatched to the Dunkin Donuts at 1023 N Main Street for a call of a stolen motor vehicle. Police arrived to find the victim, a 66-year-old woman, on the ground in the parking lot with an injury to her arm. She indicated that her 2012 Kia Soul had been stolen. In further conversation the victim and another couple, police determined the victim had been standing outside of the driver’s door of her car (with the vehicle running), speaking to the other couple. A white male came running towards the car and jumped into the vehicle. The victim stuck her hand through the driver’s side window to try and grab the keys. The suspect, however, immediately put the car in reverse, which forced the victim to the ground. The car then struck the victim’s arm.  As the suspect fled in the vehicle, he also struck the arm of another female senior citizen.

On the next day, at around 8:50 am. Fall River Police responded to the Low Price Convenience Store at 870 N Main Street for a reported robbery. The female clerk told police that a white male wearing a ski mask came in and demanded all of the money in the register. The victim handed the suspect money and he fled the store. The female clerk and her manager both said they recognized the suspect as a frequent customer and were both able to identify the suspect from a photo array as Paul Gagne.

On surveillance video taken from outside the store, the defendant can be driving away in the vehicle he stole on the previous day. Then, on July 26th, police were able to locate the vehicle outside of a residence on Hope Street in Fall River. Police set up surveillance on the vehicle, and a short time later saw the suspect enter the vehicle and drive off.  Police pursued the vehicle and attempted to pull it over, but the suspect began driving at a high rate of speed while driving the wrong way on a one way street. The suspect eventually left the vehicle on Whipple Street and fled on foot before being captured by Sergeant Jay Huard behind the Fall River Justice Center.

During his sentencing hearing last week, Judge Thomas McGuire sentenced the defendant to serve 12 to 15 years in state prison.  The case was prosecuted by Second Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Sowa.

"This defendant is a habitual criminal who needs to be separated from society for a long period of time,” said District Attorney Quinn. “The 15-year sentence will accomplish that."

--Bristol County District Attorney's Office

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