Police still seek driver who fled after Berwick chase; no charges filed against passenger

Posted March 24, 2011, at 10:29 a.m.

BERWICK, Maine — Police are still searching for a driver who led police from several agencies on a car chase late Tuesday through North Berwick into Berwick before abandoning the vehicle on Berwick Road and running on foot into a wooded area.

North Berwick Police Sgt. Robert Kearns said officers have yet to identify the suspect, although he said his department is working on fingerprinting multiple items thrown out of the suspect’s black Volvo station wagon around the time the pursuit began at 9:30 p.m. on Elm Street in North Berwick.

Police and a K-9 unit from Wells unsuccessfully searched the woods around 107 Berwick Road in Berwick, which is where the suspect ditched the car, until about midnight Tuesday, at which point they returned to North Berwick to search for the items, said Kearns.

Kearns said his department still isn’t releasing the identity of the male passenger in the Volvo, who was apprehended not long after the driver abandoned the car. He said no charges had been filed as of Wednesday against that individual, although it is a possibility.

“There may or may not be charges,” said Kearns. “I don’t believe so at this point, but I don’t want to rule that out entirely.”

The chase began after a North Berwick officer tried to pull over the Volvo for an unspecified traffic violation and the vehicle failed to stop. Alcohol was found in the car, and police believe it may have contributed to the actions of the driver.

There is video available from the car chase, and Kearns said the quality of the video is believed to be good despite the fact that it was taken at night. Photos from that video and additional information about the recording weren’t available Wednesday.

Kearns said he still believes there is no connection between the driver of the Volvo, which has New Hampshire plates, and the house at 107 Berwick Road. He said the location likely had to do with the fact police used spike strips on Blackberry Hill Road to damage the Volvo’s tires, which forced the driver to abandon the disabled vehicle.

Kearns asked anyone with more information about the suspect, whose gender is unknown, or the incident, to call North Berwick Police Lt. Jim Moulton at 207-676-2751.

Police from Berwick and South Berwick assisted with the chase, and Berwick police laid down the spike strips.

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Copyright (c) 2011, Foster’s Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H.

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