BANGOR, Maine — A Waterville woman with a history of driving infractions faces multiple charges after reportedly leading police on a chase from Interstate 95 near Newport to the streets of Bangor on Friday night, according to the Maine Department of Public Safety.
Courtney Quinn, 35, was charged with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, aggravated criminal mischief, eluding a police officer, passing a police roadblock and operating after suspension in connection with the incident, according to Lt. Wesley Hussey, commanding officer of Troop E of the Maine State Police in Orono.
According to Hussey, Trooper Scott Dalton was with another stopped vehicle on I-95 near Newport at 5:30 p.m. when Quinn passed him in a tan Toyota Camry, nearly hitting another officer and a vehicle. When Dalton attempted to stop Quinn’s vehicle, she reportedly refused to pull over.
Quinn allegedly evaded police traveling northbound at speeds as high as 97 mph, passing a roadblock set up by Hampden police near Coldbrook Road.
Hussey said Quinn took the exit onto Hammond Street in Bangor and recklessly drove through several parking lots, driving across lawns, ditches and curbs to evade police and get back onto Odlin Road.
Two Maine state troopers also tried to disable Quinn’s vehicle in the Ramada Inn parking lot, and despite the fact that one of the Camry’s front tires was destroyed, Quinn reportedly drove through a ditch back onto Odlin Road.
Sgt. Sean Hashey also attempted to block the vehicle as it approached Hammond Street, Hussey said, but Quinn sideswiped the cruiser in an attempt to get away.
Eventually Quinn was boxed in by several vehicles, both police and civilian, but she continued to accelerate despite being trapped, according to witnesses and police.
“She kept driving the car, hitting the gas, and trying to push our vehicle out of the way,” said Patricia Kelleher of Bangor, who was a passenger in a pickup truck driven by boyfriend Eric Merritt that was struck by the driver. “Fortunately, she couldn’t. I can’t believe she didn’t hit that other woman in the car behind us.”
At least three or four officers had to drag the woman from the Camry as she kept trying to accelerate and drive her car through the makeshift rolling roadblock, witnesses said.
“She fought and resisted every step of the way. It was bizarre,” Kelleher said. “They were trying to get her out and they kept grabbing her and the engine was running and she was still trying to drive. She kept yelling, ‘let me go, let me go!’ And she was fighting them for the keys. I think it took about three cops to pull her out and four or five to put her in the police car.
Police said Quinn showed signs of impairment during the arrest and booking process.
Quinn was taken to Penobscot County Jail and is being held on $25,000 bail, according to a press release from the Maine Department of Public Safety.
Quinn has been convicted twice before for operating under the influence and once before for failure to stop for a police officer.
Maine State Police were assisted by the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department and Bangor and Hampden police departments.
No injuries were reported in the incident. By the time Quinn had been stopped, 16 police vehicles were at the site, along with a two trucks called out to help stop the suspect’s vehicle.