Police: Fla. fugitive rams cruiser in Cumberland, leads high-speed chase to Brunswick

Posted Feb. 22, 2011, at 5:06 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 22, 2011, at 10:41 p.m.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — A Florida man wanted in that state on multiple charges, including grand theft, reportedly rammed a police cruiser in Cumberland early Tuesday morning, then led police on a chase to Brunswick before crashing into a snowbank on Maine Street.

At 2:47 a.m., Brunswick police officers learned that a silver 2005 Saturn was headed to Brunswick after a high-speed pursuit that started on Route 88 in Cumberland. The chase continued onto Route 1 in Yarmouth and Freeport, Brunswick Police Cmdr. Marc Hagan said Tuesday.

The chase began after the driver — later identified as John Elvis Fenn, 29, of Quincy, Fla. — rammed a Cumberland Police Department cruiser, Cumberland police Lt. Milton Calder said Tuesday.

The car sped over spike mats set out on Route 1 northbound — also known as Old Portland Road — near the Fairfield Inn. Brunswick police Sgt. Paul Hansen and Officer Patrick Scott deployed the spike mats, which punctured three of the car’s four tires.

However, Fenn continued along Pleasant Street to the corner of Maine Street, where the punctured tires caused the car to cross the road, hit and crest a snowbank adjacent to a parking lot near Bull Moose Music, and come to rest on Park Row, Hagan said.

Fenn then got out of the vehicle and ran behind buildings on Park Row, where officers took him into custody.

Officers from Cumberland, Yarmouth and Freeport were at the scene of the arrest, as was a Maine State Police trooper.

Police requested an ambulance because Fenn reportedly experienced difficulty breathing, Hagan said. The ambulance took Fenn to Mid Coast Hospital.

Fenn is on probation out of Florida for grand theft of a motor vehicle, Hagan said Tuesday. Fenn also is wanted on warrants from that state on charges of grand theft, exploitation, forgery, fraudulent use of credit cards and criminal use of personal identification.

Calder said Tuesday that Fenn now faces additional charges of failure to stop for an officer, resisting arrest, aggravated assault and aggravated criminal mischief — the latter two charges because Fenn allegedly hit a Cumberland police cruiser driven by Officer Antonio Ridge, who initially encountered Fenn on Route 88 in Cumberland.

The cruiser had between $5,000 and $10,000 in damage, Calder said.

Fenn was in Cumberland County Jail on Tuesday, awaiting arraignment later this week, a jail official said.

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