BAILEYVILLE, Maine — A Meddybemps man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly stole a police cruiser Sunday morning and then intentionally drove it into Grand Falls Flowage, according to police.
The incident occurred around 6 a.m. as police were responding to a complaint of a fight on Palm Street in Baileyville, Washington County Sheriff’s Deputy John Peterson said. While two officers from Indian Township were assisting Peterson with the complaint, Timothy Allen Dickey, 19, of Meddybemps, allegedly hopped into the driver’s seat of one of the Indian Township cruisers and sped away, Peterson said.
The second Indian Township cruiser also was damaged in the incident, Peterson said, as the two Indian Township officers tried to pursue Dickey. As one officer put the second cruiser into reverse, the passenger side door was still open and got caught on a utility pole, bending the door forward.
The police officers, including Peterson in his cruiser, tried to pursue Dickey but he disappeared too quickly for the officers to engage in a chase, Peterson said.
“At that time, it was out of sight,” the deputy said.
As they started to search the area, Peterson guessed where Dickey might go with the cruiser. He drove to Squirrel Point, on the Grand Falls Flowage, and saw Dickey exit the cruiser as it sat partially submerged in the water at a boat ramp.
“My little hunch worked out,” Peterson said.
The cruiser was in the water nose-first with its floorboards under the surface. Peterson said that before he was found by police, Dickey also had allegedly damaged the car by jumping up and down on its roof and by smashing out its rear window. The water also was damaging the cruiser’s wiring, causing the siren and lights to short out, the deputy said.
Peterson estimated the damage to the cruiser to be at least $2,000, but said the final costs could end up being more than that.
The officer said he ordered Dickey to stop, but Dickey swam out into the water in an attempt to avoid capture. Peterson followed Dickey along the shore and kept track of Dickey’s location while he communicated with U.S. Border Patrol, which had radioed and offered assistance.
After a few minutes, Dickey swam to the far side of a cove and was picked up by Border Patrol agents, Peterson said.
He said Dickey is facing likely charges of aggravated criminal mischief, unauthorized use of property, operating a motor vehicle under the influence of intoxicants, refusing to submit to arrest, and violating conditions of release.
Dickey currently is being held without bail at Washington County Jail, Peterson said.