Man charged in hitting officer now in hospital

Posted Feb. 16, 2011, at 10:02 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The Dexter man, who is charged with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon for allegedly hitting a Dexter police officer with his Mercury Mountaineer while fleeing late Saturday, was sent from jail to a hospital on Tuesday, according to police.

Joseph Collins, 37, was charged with felony reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon after he reportedly sideswiped Dexter police Officer Gary Morin, throwing him into a snowbank and injuring his shoulder. After his arrest early Sunday, Collins was taken to Penobscot County Jail in Bangor.

“He has been involuntarily sent to a hospital,” Penobscot County Sheriff Glenn Ross said Wednesday, declining to give specifics about why.

Collins originally was scheduled to have his first appearance in court on Monday, a teleconference between the jail and the Penobscot Judicial Center, but that was postponed.

Ross said the court postponement was “all connected to this, and it’s been going on for a couple days.”

The incident that led to Collins being charged began at about 9:10 p.m. Saturday, when Morin was sent to 84 Main St. on a report of a possible violation of a protection order. Morin saw Collins, whom he recognized from previous encounters, near the dwelling. The two began speaking. The conversation was amiable until Collins suddenly broke away from Morin and got into the Mountaineer, Dexter police Sgt. Kevin Wintle has said.

Morin was trying to stop Collins’ escape when the vehicle struck him, he said. Maine State Police, Penobscot and Somerset county sheriff’s department officers and Dexter police began searching for Collins, who later was found at the Main Street residence where the incident began.

After a short standoff, Wintle convinced Collins to surrender at around 3:30 a.m.

Ross said Collins was sent to a hospital somewhere in Maine.

BDN writer Nick Sambides contributed to this report.

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