2013-10-01 / Front Page

Police chase 13-year-old driver down I-295

Arrested after Topsham-to-Freeport jaunt
BY DARCIE MOORE Times Record Staff

TOPSHAM — Police chased a 13-year-old driver down Interstate 295 Monday afternoon from Topsham to Freeport where the juvenile spun out on the exit ramp and was arrested.

Topsham Police Lt. Fred Dunn said the police department was dispatched to I-295 Monday at 4:28 p.m. to look for a red 2000 Ford GMC sport utility vehicle that was headed southbound from Gardiner. They were told a 13-year-old male had taken his parents vehicle without permission and was driving erratically southbound.

Dunn said the 13-year-old boy had allegedly had some kind of confrontation with his parents at home “and they said next thing they knew the vehicle was leaving the driveway.”

Dunn said Sgt. Dale Hamilton of the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Department reported the vehicle had passed him on I-295. Hamilton tried to catch up and stop the vehicle, which didn’t stop.

Topsham officer William Collins joined the pursuit, Dunn said, and became the lead vehicle. Collins had his lights and sirens on but the SUV kept going, traveling around vehicles, at speeds fluctuating from 65 to 98 miles per hour. The red SUV was reportedly swaying left and right, almost striking vehicles on the right and the guardrail on the left.

“He continued southbound until exit 22, the Durham-Freeport exit, and at the last minute, jerked the vehicle to take the exit,” forcing another vehicle out of the travel lane to the side if the road, Dunn said. “He ended up not making the turn on the ramp and went into the grassy median and skidded around onto the southbound on-ramp facing oncoming traffic.” Hamilton, Collins and a Freeport officer were on scene and boxed the juvenile in at this point, said Dunn, who joined officers at the scene. 

Topsham police arrested the juvenile, charging him with unauthorized use of property, the felony charge of eluding an officer, as well as operating without a license. He was taken to Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland and given a West Bath District Court date of Dec. 2.

The red SUV was not damaged and no other vehicles were hit during the pursuit.


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