Bystander helps Bangor officer restrain drunken driver, police say

By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 06, 2012, at 11:52 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A bystander helped a Bangor police officer restrain an agitated drunken driver early Saturday morning, but the suspect had to be stunned with a Taser twice during his arrest, according to Sgt. Paul Edwards.

After police got Roger Chase, 29, of Pittsfield to the ground, “this citizen helped to control one of his arms,” the sergeant said.

Even with the additional help, “they couldn’t get him handcuffed,” which is why the Taser was used, Edwards said.

Chase is a body builder, the sergeant said.

The incident occurred about 1 a.m. Saturday as Barnaby’s nightclub on Odlin Road was closing. Officer Wade Betters watched as Chase left the back parking lot of the bar and proceeded to drive the wrong way on outer Hammond Street, Edwards said.

Betters turned on his cruiser’s lights and followed Chase — who has two prior convictions for operating under the influence — to the nearby Circle K convenience store on Odlin Road.

Betters said the driver ignored his blue lights, and when Chase got out of the SUV he was driving, he also ignored Betters’ commands, according to Edwards.

“At that point Officer Betters reported that he grabbed hold of Chase and that Chase shoved him,” the police sergeant said. “Officer Betters restrained Chase and the two ended up on the ground.”

While struggling with Chase, Betters called for backup because he was having a hard time handling the agitated and intoxicated man, according to Edwards.

Bystanders had gathered to watch the incident and Betters asked one of them if he could help, the sergeant said. “A 24-year-old Jefferson, Maine, man jumped into the fray and held Chase at the direction of the officer until backup arrived.”

When backup did arrive, Chase was still so out of control that police used a Taser on him twice, Edwards said.

Chase was taken to the Bangor Police Department for an Intoxilyzer blood alcohol test and was cooperative, the sergeant said. He was arrested and charged with felony OUI — because of his prior drunk driving convictions — as well as with assault and refusing to submit to arrest.

Chase was taken to the Penobscot County Jail and remained there Monday morning, Edwards said.

For his efforts, the Jefferson man, who was not identified, was given a department Challenge Coin.

It’s rare for police to ask members of the public for help during an arrest, Edwards said.

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/02/06/news/police-beat/bystander-helps-bangor-officer-restrain-drunken-driver-police-say/ printed on September 30, 2014