A Norridgewock woman who led Brewer police on a chase in and around the Wilson Street commercial district early Sunday in a stolen pickup is facing numerous criminal charges.
Victoria Lynn Gurney, 21, was charged with drunken driving, driving to endanger, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a property damage accident and eluding police, which is a Class C felony, Brewer police Capt. Jason Moffitt said Wednesday.
Moffitt said the pursuit, which hit speeds estimated at 55 mph, ended in under 30 minutes.
Gurney, who was taken to Penobscot County Jail after her arrest, since has been released on bail, a jail official confirmed.
The series of events that led to Gurney’s arrest began at 7:31 a.m., when Brewer police received a report that a young woman, later identified as Gurney, had stolen a black 2010 Ford F-150 from the parking lot of a Wilson Street motel, Moffitt said Wednesday, citing police reports.
Moffitt said the truck’s owner and his girlfriend told Cpl Steven Boyd that they had tried to chase the truck but that the woman who took it got away, hitting a snowbank on the way, Moffitt said. Boyd had Penobscot County dispatchers send out a description of the Ford to area police agencies, Moffiitt said.
While Boyd was interviewing the truck’s owner, Brewer police Sgt. Anthony Pinette was sent out to look into a report of an erratically driven vehicle near the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Parkway North, Moffitt said.
Pinette, who was on nearby State Street and had heard the description of the missing truck, caught up with it near the Brewer Auditorium, where Gurney reportedly had drifted off the roadway and gotten the truck stuck in the snow.
While Gurney tried to back the truck out of the snow, Pinette ordered her to stop several times.
“She just looked at him and shook her head to indicate ‘No,’” Moffitt said. After managing to get the truck back on the roadway, Gurney took off again
She headed up Eastern Avenue and then onto State Street, where she blew through a red light while crossing Wilson Street and then entered the Brewer Shopping Center parking lot, where the truck fishtailed and went into a ditch on adjacent Vista Way, Moffitt said.
Despite Pinette’s orders to stop and having his weapon drawn, the woman continued to back out of the ditch and began heading back toward Wilson Street, swerving toward Pinette and forcing him to duck behind his police cruiser to avoid being hit, Moffitt said.
Gurney then turned into the parking lot of Advanced Auto Parts, where she struck a parked vehicle before heading to Acme Road, where Brewer police Officer Liz Kelly joined the pursuit.
Once she reached Acme Road, Gurney reportedly ditched the Ford and took off running toward the city swimming pool, where Pinette caught up with her and placed her under arrest.
Why Gurney took the truck and what she was planning to do with it remained a bit of a mystery this week.
“She really never provided any coherent reason,” Moffitt said.
A Bangor man who was arrested by city police and state drug agents earlier this month was convicted Monday during an appearance at the Penobscot Judicial Center after pleading guilty to Class C felony drug possession, driving without a valid license and violating the conditions of his release from a prior arrest.
Besides being sentenced to 18 months in jail for the drug charge and forfeiting the nearly $3,000 in cash he had on him when he was arrested, 27-year-old Michael Acosta was fined $250 for driving with a suspended license and sentenced to 60 days in jail for the bail violation to be served concurrently with the drug sentence, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said in a news release issued Wednesday.
Acosta was arrested on March 3 after Bangor police Officers Kyle Pelkey and Doug Smith, members of the Bangor Police Department’s Special Enforcement Team, learned from local Maine Drug Enforcement Agency personnel that Acosta, whose activities were being monitored as part of an ongoing MDEA investigation, was driving in the city with a suspended license.
At the time, Acosta was out on bail from a prior arrest and was wanted on a warrant, Edwards said.
After MDEA agents spotted the suspect driving to an Ohio Street address, they and the city officers waited in the neighborhood to see if Acosta would return to the car.
Several minutes later, they saw Acosta leave the residence and drive off in the same car. Officers stopped the car on Third Street, near the Rite-Aid pharmacy, Edwards said.
After confirming Acosta’s bail conditions, which prohibited him from using or possessing drugs and required that he submit to searches, authorities searched him and his car and turned up 32 pills — 27 of which were 30-mg oxycodone tablets — and $2,762 cash.