NORTHFIELD — A Northfield teenager accused of trying to kill two people by pushing their vehicle over an embankment in March has been arrested in Las Vegas.
According to a news release, Aleksander “Sasha” Cherkasov, 19, was arrested by Las Vegas police Saturday. Cherkasov had warrants out for his arrest on two felony counts of attempted murder, felony counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and first-degree aggravated domestic assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor counts of domestic assault, reckless endangerment, leaving the scene of a crash, gross negligent operation and unlawful mischief. If convicted, Cherkasov faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.
An extradition hearing was expected to take place Monday in Nevada, but it’s unknown at this point when he will be back in Vermont to answer the charges.
According to court records, on March 20 Cherkasov got into an argument with his girlfriend and she called a friend to pick her up. Police said when the girlfriend got into the vehicle, Cherkasov drove into the passenger side, nearly hitting her and bending the car’s door.
Police said Cherkasov drove the friend’s vehicle off the road and the two victims were able to jump out of the car before Cherkasov pushed the vehicle over an embankment. Police said the vehicle was found 40 to 50 feet down the bank. Cherkasov had been on the run since the incident.
Police in Northfield said they were assisted by the the U.S. Marshals, as well as law enforcement in Montpelier, Jacksonville, Florida, and New Mexico. Police Chief John Helfant said in an email Monday Cherkasov was known to be in Louisiana, Texas, Florida, New Mexico and finally Nevada before he was taken into custody.
Helfant said Cherkasov’s mother, Jennifer Canfield, 59, was with Cherkasov when he was arrested. She is accused of helping her son evade police.
Washington County State’s Attorney Rory Thibault said she is expected to face charges including obstruction of justice and giving false information to police. Thibault said he would soon be seeking a warrant for her arrest. Canfield was not arrested when her son was located.
Police said she told investigators in March she would bring Cherkasov to the police department, but later reported she had spoken to an attorney and wouldn’t be bringing him in.
Thibault credited Northfield officer Karie Tucker with helping locate Cherkasov. He said she coordinated the search effort with other agencies which used information, such as Canfield’s phone records, to find Cherkasov’s location.
Thibault said while what Canfield is alleged to have done fits under the state’s statute for accessory after the fact, he can’t charge her with that because there is a specific carve-out absolving liability for direct family members involved in such conduct.