OSSIPEE — The man accused of leading police on an “incredibly dangerous” 11-mile police chase, in which a Conway officer was dragged 20 feet, pleaded guilty to two counts of felony reckless conduct Tuesday in Carroll County Superior Court.
Tyler Olisky, 23, received a 1½-to-six-year prison sentence with several more years suspended. Olisky, formerly of Tilton, was ordered by Superior Court Judge Amy Ignatius to begin serving the sentence immediately.
The aforementioned chase took place March 27, 2018, at about 4 p.m. It began near the North Conway Walmart, went up the North-South Road, to Kearsage Road, then headed south on Route 16 through North Conway and finally ended near the White Mountain Stove Shop in Madison.
During the chase, Olisky weaved around oncoming traffic as well as police cruisers parked in the road. He came close to hitting Conway Police Chief Ed Wagner.
Prosecutor Steve Briden called for a two-to-six-year prison sentence, with another three to six years suspended for five years.
Ignatius said she couldn’t agree to defense attorney Mark Sisti’s request to allow Olisky to serve only weekends in jail. The judge said she had to balance deterrence, punishment and rehabilitation.
Addressing Olisky, she said: “The conduct that was agreed to (the two reckless conduct convictions) was so dangerous to you, to other drivers, to pedestrians, to the life and health of other people, property that is there, vehicles, guard rails, you name it,” said Ignatius. “I’m not sure I can think of a more reckless automobile scenario than this one that I’ve looked at.
“How it is there was only minor bruises and scrapes to an officer and some relatively minor, I guess, property damage is an absolute miracle,” Ignatius admonished him.
The first reckless conduct indictment from April 2018 said that on the date in question, Olisky “drove away as (Conway Police) Sgt. Michael Boucher was attempting to remove the defendant from his vehicle, dragging Sgt. Boucher down the road, and the motor vehicle in the manner in which it was used is known to cause serious bodily injury or death.”
The second reckless conduct indictment said Olisky “operated a motor vehicle at a high rate of speed in an oncoming lane, with numerous other motorists present, nearly striking another vehicle head-on in the intersection of the North South Road and Kearsarge Road, and the motor vehicle in the manner which it was used is known to cause serious injury or death.”
The indictments were signed by then-assistant county attorney Kimberly Tessari, who since left to become a state police prosecutor.
In court Tuesday, Deputy County Attorney Steve Briden said Olisky dragged Boucher 20 feet. At times during the 11-mile chase Olisky obtained speeds of 90-100 mph.
Briden said when the chase ended, Olisky refused to get out of the car and officers saw him reaching around the console of his vehicle.
Asked what he was looking for, Olisky said it was a magazine. A gun later was found in the car.
“This is an incredibly dangerous situation, and there’s a significant need for punishment, specific and general deterrence in this case to make it very clear that this conduct is not acceptable and this conduct will be punished harshly,” said Briden.
The suspended sentence had been negotiated with defense attorney Sisti, but the two-to-six-year prison sentence was still up for debate Tuesday.
Sisti said Olisky had been doing well, going to school in Ohio, but then got corrupted by “knuckle heads” he was hanging around with when he came back to New Hampshire.
At a previous hearing last year, public defender Amy Ashworth said Olisky had been in Ohio studying to for automotive/diesel certifications.
Sisti said Olisky had done a great job rehabilitating himself between the time of his crimes and Tuesday’s sentencing and that his progress shouldn’t be interrupted.
In fact, Sisti said Olisky had recently gotten a $15-an-hour landscaping job. Sisti also said his client had recently united with a “recently found brother,” Jacob, 17. Sisti also said Olisky had been in counseling and that he was a cooperative client.
“I don’t think you will find in him someone who doesn’t appreciate a sentence like that,” said Sisti. “He is going to make sure you are not embarrassed and you’re not ashamed by giving him a break. He’s not going to let you down.”
Addressing the court, Olisky sounded apologetic.
“I’m deeply sorry for my actions that day,” he said, his voice cracking slightly with emotion. He added he was “under the influence,” that he had problems with drug and alcohol but is now sober.
“I’m sorry for any danger I put the community in. I was not in a sober state of mind. I was not in the right state of mind.”
He vowed to do anything he could to “make this right.”
Olisky’s mother, Sarah Olisky of Laconia, also addressed the court.
She said Tyler had “difficulties” growing up as the son of a single mother with two children. She said it was hard for him not having a father figure.
She said he was “doing awesome” in Ohio, was working and going to school. But he hit a snag with housing and had to take time off and live with her in Tamworth.
“It’s a difficult day to find out my son got arrested because he made a bad decision on his part,” she said.
Ignatius said the defense’s arguments were valid enough that she would be more lenient than the prosecution recommended.
But she told Olisky: “I think what your lawyer is recommending is inadequate, seriously inadequate,” adding she initially felt the two to six years recommended by the state was extremely low.
“I’ve heard all the arguments and think some of them are very compelling and some of them are persuasive to a degree, (but) not nearly to the degree you are hoping for,” Ignatius said before sentencing him to the 1½ years.
Six other charges in the case were dropped.