HAMPDEN, Maine — A Winterport man was arrested Monday night — despite the fact that police reportedly had suspended a chase for him — after crashing his car into a tree.
Police caught up with Christopher Michaud, 25, in nearby Winterport after he reportedly ditched his car and ran off into the nearby woods, Hampden police Sgt. Christian Bailey said Tuesday night.
The search for Michaud also involved personnel from the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department and the Maine State Police, which provided the tracking dog that helped find Michaud a couple of miles from the crash site, Bailey said.
Michaud was charged with eluding an officer, criminal speed for driving more than 30 mph over the speed limit, and leaving the scene of a property damage accident, Bailey said. He remained at Penobscot County Jail on Wednesday night, a jail official said.
The series of events that led to the arrest began shortly before 7 p.m. Monday when Hampden police Officer Bill Miller saw Michaud’s Ford Escort whiz by while running radar on Emerson Mill Road.
Miller activated the lights on his cruiser and followed the car, which failed to stop, as it turned onto Western Avenue, Bailey said. The officer activated the siren after the Escort continued onto Patterson Road, hitting speeds of more than 70 mph along the way.
Miller continued to pursue the car as it turned onto Meadow Road, Kennebec Road and then onto Monroe Road, where the decision was made to abandon the chase because of safety concerns, Bailey said.
In the meantime, Waldo County and state police were asked to keep an eye out for Michaud’s car.
“About 10 minutes later, we got a report that a vehicle matching the description [of Michaud’s car] went off the road near the intersection of Goshen and Clark roads and hit a tree,” Bailey said. Bailey said part of the car caught fire and that the driver fled the scene on foot.
“There just happened to be a state trooper in the area who had a K-9,” Bailey said. The tracking team found Michaud a couple of miles away, he said.
After he was captured, Michaud reportedly offered police a reason for trying to give them the slip, Bailey said.
“He thought there was a warrant out on him,” Bailey said.
Michaud’s criminal history includes convictions for burglary and criminal mischief in March 2006, according to the Bangor Daily News archives. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail at that time.