A tow-truck driver who led police on a chase through two towns, injuring six people, was held without bail after his arraignment Thursday in Providence District Court.
Sean Sparfven, 30, of Providence was held on $100,000 surety bail on 14 charges from Wednesday’s chase and an additional four charges of possession of stolen vehicles. Sparfven was held without bail as a probation violator.
. During the pursuit, five officers (including a North Kingstown police detective) and Sparfven’s sister were injured.
According to a press release from the Rhode Island State Police, the incident began when the state police’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force were investigating Sparfven on suspicion of using his tow truck to steal cars. Members of the task force were in the Mount Pleasant area of Providence when North Kingstown Detective Tyler Denniston, a member of the task force, saw Sparfven drive past him in a tow truck. Recognizing Sparfven from a recent law enforcement bulletin (which also stated that Sparfven’s license had been suspended), Denniston followed the truck to K&R Auto Salvage in North Providence.
Once inside the lot, Denniston approached Sparfven and his sister Renee, 29, and asked him for his license. When Denniston asked Sparfven to exit the vehicle to place him under arrest, Sparfven allegedly punched the detective in the face and fled the scene in his truck. According to reports, Sparfven then allegedly accelerated at Dennison and Rhode Island State Police Detective Herbert Tilson, who arrived at the scene to assist Dennison, sideswiping Denniston’s vehicle and hitting Tilson’s head-on. The pair of detective then fired on Sparfven’s truck, with one bullet glancing his sister and causing a cut to her shoulder and neck.
Sparfven then sped off from the yard, with North Providence police in pursuit. During the chase, Sparfven struck a North Providence officer’s cruiser, forcing the officer off the road and into a home. The officer sustained moderate injuries. According to the report, Sparfven hit another police cruiser before coming to a stop and running into his home where police apprehended him. (During the arrest, Sparfven allegedly bit an officer in the chest.)
All officers injured during the chase were treated at Rhode Island Hospital and released.