Man jumps into river to escape

Posted July 22, 2009, at 8:41 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Glenburn man who was being pursued by police after stealing a car in Bangor and crashing it early Wednesday decided to jump into the Penobscot River in an attempt to escape, police said.

He made it across the river from Brewer, but that’s as far as he got, Bangor police Lt. Jeff Millard said Wednesday afternoon.

Allan Burke-Sapiel, 20, was fished out of the water behind Penobscot Plaza, Millard said.

The incident started when Burke-Sapiel “found a car with keys in it on Sixth Street and he went for a joyride,” the lieutenant said.

The car owner heard her 2002 Volkswagen Golf being driven out of the driveway and called police at around 12:30 a.m.

“At about 2:30 a.m., an officer tried to stop it and it fled,” Millard said. “It crashed into Nason Park Manor, which is at 140 Hancock Street. The operator fled on foot. He ran towards the Penobscot River.”

After reaching the river’s edge, Burke-Sapiel ran across the Penobscot Bridge to the Brewer side, where officers from that city pursued him on foot, Millard said.

To escape, Burke-Sapiel apparently decided to swim for it.

“He swam across to Bangor,” Millard said. “We were just waiting for him to swim to shore. Then we arrested him.”

After being checked by an ambulance crew, Burke-Sapiel was arrested and charged with refusing to stop for a police officer, unauthorized use of property, receiving stolen property, operating after suspension and possession of alcohol by a minor through consumption.

After his arrest, he was taken to the Penobscot County Jail, where he remained on Wednesday, a jail official said. He is scheduled to have his first appearance in 3rd District Court on Thursday.

The Volkswagen had about $200 in damage to its bumper, Millard said.

nricker@bangordailynews.net

990-8190

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