Police seek Monroe man after car chase, escape odyssey

Posted Oct. 23, 2009, at 9:36 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — Authorities were searching for a Monroe man who they say ran into the woods after leading police on a high-speed chase through two counties early Friday morning.

Kyle T. Goehringer, 23, of Monroe faces a host of charges in the aftermath of the chase that began in the Waldo County town of Unity and ended in a field in the Kennebec County town of Benton. Speeds reached 100 mph during the chase, Waldo County Chief Deputy Robert Keating said.

The incident began at 12:45 a.m. Friday when Deputy Sheriff Dan Thompson observed Goehringer driving a Volkswagen Jetta near the Unity House of Pizza. Knowing that Goehringer’s license was suspended, Thompson followed and pulled the Jetta over on Depot Street in Unity.

When Thompson spoke to Goehringer he detected an odor of alcohol and performed a field sobriety test, which Goehringer failed, Keating said. Maine State Police Trooper Donald Webber arrived at that point and the officers told Goehringer he would be arrested for operating while under the influence of intoxicants and operating after suspension.

In response, Goehringer requested to retrieve his cell phone from his car. The officers gave him permission, and moments after Goehringer got out of his vehicle with the phone he ran into the woods. The two officers gave chase behind the Unity Food Pantry but were unable to locate him.

Trooper Webber went back to his cruiser to call for a trooper with a tracking dog to come to the scene and began circling the neighborhood looking for Goehringer. Deputy Thompson was searching the area on foot when he heard a car start and realized that Goehringer had circled around, got into his car and drove off.

Webber pursued the Jetta down Route 139 into Benton with Thompson following a few minutes behind. Webber reported that the Jetta had reached 100 mph at one point and that the driver had lost control at about 80 mph and skidded into a field. Goehringer again ran off. Trooper Shawn Porter arrived with his tracking dog but the officers were unable to locate Goehringer.

Keating said that along with the OUI and OAS charges, Goehringer faces additional charges of eluding an officer, driving to endanger and escape from custody.

“We hope young Mr. Goehringer will come to reason and turn himself in to the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office or the Maine State Police,” Keating said. “He obviously knows we know who he is and that we are looking for him. Hopefully, he’ll realize he’s made a big mistake and turn himself in. Thankfully, the young man and no innocent people were hurt.”

Police said Friday they had impounded the Jetta and were still looking for Goehringer late Friday afternoon.

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