LEWISTON, Maine — Two men were taken into custody early Tuesday after an alleged car chase, standoff, officer rundown and one man shot.
The driver, Richard Thorpe, 30, of Norway, and passenger, Kyle Corey, 43, of Portland, were taken to Central Maine Medical Center for medical treatment. Thorpe later was charged with felony eluding a police officer and felony theft. He also was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and refusing to submit to arrest.
Corey, who was shot in the shoulder, was still at the hospital. Police said they expect to charge him with aggravated assault, assault on a police officer, eluding a police officer and theft, all felonies.
According to police reports, about 12:15 a.m., Lewiston police Officer Nathan Hood spotted a stolen white Ford Focus at the corner of Bartlett and Walnut streets. Hood tried to pull the car over, but it sped up. A chase ensued through the Twin Cities, involving Lewiston and Auburn police departments and Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department.
The car eventually crashed into a fence in a parking lot off Chestnut Street near Mill Street and came to rest outside a parking garage there.
A Maine State Police tactical team was called to the scene.
As Officer Hood approached the vehicle in his police car, Thorpe put the car in reverse and rammed Hood’s cruiser while he was still inside. The car went forward, then stopped.
Thorpe got out of the car and fled on foot behind the parking garage to Lincoln Street where he was caught by officers. Corey stayed in the car and got into the driver’s seat. He started to ram another police vehicle in an effort to leave the scene.
Officers ordered Corey to stop the car, but he refused. He drove the car into Lewiston police Officer Nicholas Meserve, knocking him to the ground. Meserve and Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Deputy Travis Lovering fired several shots at Corey, striking him in the shoulder.
Corey then sped forward and the car got stuck on a fence. After a brief standoff with police, Corey eventually followed police commands and got out of car. He was taken into custody.
Officer Meserve went to the hospital with leg injuries. He later was released.
A small crowd of Twin Cities residents who had witnessed the chase gathered near the standoff to see how it ended. Police warned the onlookers to keep around the corner and out of sight of the stolen vehicle, in which another suspect was reported to have barricaded himself.
Witnesses described seeing the vehicle traveling through downtown Lewiston at rapid speed with police cruisers in close pursuit, at one point going the wrong way down Pine Street.
Toward the end of the chase, the vehicle and pursuing cruisers crossed a bridge from New Auburn into Lewiston, said Daren Burgess, who saw some of the chase from his fourth-floor apartment on Oxford Street.
Minutes later, Burgess said, he could hear the vehicles return to the area, followed by a volley of about 30 shots.
“It was like the Fourth of July I guess, it just kept going on and on,” Burgess said.
Officers cordoned off the area around the parking garage. They were not allowing anyone or any vehicles to pass.
The standoff ended at about 1:30 a.m.
Afterwards, police remained on the scene to collect evidence, placing at least 17 markers on the ground to denote bullet casings near the stolen car.
The Maine Attorney General’s Office is investigating.