Veazie man shot by police tried to run officers over, chief says

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff
Posted April 11, 2011, at 11:41 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Veazie man shot by a Portland police officer early Sunday while trying to flee a residential burglary crime scene in a car was listed in critical condition Monday afternoon at Maine Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Jonathan Mitchell, 29, who “has a extensive criminal history” and is on probation for aggravated assault, was shot in the neck and shoulder by Officer Robert Miller when Mitchell tried to run him and another officer over, Police Chief James Craig said at a press conference Monday. A copy of Craig’s remarks was sent to the Bangor Daily News.

Mitchell had broken into his estranged wife’s apartment at 94 Allen Ave. and refused to leave until she picked up the phone at around 4:40 a.m. Sunday to call 911, he said. Mitchell left in a black Volkswagen Jetta covered with bumper stickers and was spotted minutes later by Miller on Washington Avenue.

Miller was joined by Officer David Schertz, who followed Mitchell down Washington, then Veranda Street and then to Fairfield Street, a short, dead-end street, where they found the Jetta stopped.

“Officers Miller and Schertz approached the vehicle in an attempt to take Mitchell into custody,” Craig said. “After refusing — based on our preliminary investigation — we believe Mitchell used his vehicle as a dangerous weapon in an attempt to escape.

“Officer Miller fired two rounds, striking Mitchell in the neck and shoulder,” he said.

After he was shot, Mitchell gunned the Jetta and sped away from the scene at a high rate of speed; he was last seen by the officers on Veranda Street, the chief said. Neither officer was injured in the incident, he said.

Police caught up with an injured Mitchell at around 6:20 a.m. after they found his car in the area of 150 Washington Ave. and located him in a nearby apartment.
Mitchell was taken into custody and transported to Maine Medical Center for treatment of the gunshot wounds.
Lt. Gary Rogers, who is part of Portland’s criminal investigations division, said Monday that Mitchell is under guard at the hospital.

Miller, who has worked for Portland Police Department for more than three years, was placed on administrative leave, which is protocol whenever a shooting takes place, he said. Schertz, who did not fire his weapon, remains on duty, Rogers said.

Mitchell has a Veazie address but is originally from Alton, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Monday. He has a lengthy criminal record, according to prior court listings printed in the Bangor Daily News.

In the past decade, Mitchell has been convicted in Bangor courts of criminal mischief, theft, failing to stop for an officer, assault, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while under influence of intoxicants, violating condition of release, violating a protective order, using another’s license or identification as his own, keeping a dangerous dog and allowing a dog to be at large.

http://bangordailynews.com/2011/04/11/news/portland/veazie-man-shot-by-portland-police-in-critical-condition/ printed on April 19, 2014