Clinton officer justified in shooting out woman’s car tires

Posted May 10, 2011, at 1:42 p.m.
Last modified May 10, 2011, at 3:55 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — An investigation has concluded that a Maine police officer did not violate state laws governing use of force when he shot out the tires of a car.

The shooting last October in which no one was injured happened in Clinton after the motorist believed to be intoxicated drove away with Acting Police Chief Craig Johnson hanging onto the car after getting his arm stuck in the window.

About two hours later, Jessica Rood tried to drive away again and officer Jeffrey Belanger fired five shots, deflating two of the tires. She was arrested after a 10-minute pursuit.

The attorney general concluded Belanger reasonably believed that using his firearm was necessary to prevent Rood from endangering lives. Rood served 20 days for reckless conduct and refusing to submit to arrest.

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