BANGOR, Maine — An Orrington teenager who was involved in the street fight that ended with the shooting death of 19-year-old John “Bobby” Surles in January 2010 was drinking Monday night when he decided to steal a vehicle and race through the city, according to police.
That is when the mayhem started, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Tuesday.
It ended with Dylan Colvin, 19, who already has two prior convictions for operating under the influence, being charged with stealing and crashing two vehicles and running from police, the sergeant said.
Colvin stole a silver car from somewhere in Bangor and was driving erratically and at a high rate of speed when police were notified at around 10:15 p.m., Edwards said.
Two motorists went up to Officer Taylor Bagley, who was parked at the junction of Union and Third streets, “complaining that a silver car had just passed them both a high rate of speed and sustained damage as it hit a curb turning onto Second Street,” the sergeant said.
Other motorists had called 911 to report the same information, Edwards said, and a be-on-the-lookout alert was issued for the vehicle.
Officer Russ Twaddell located the car on Union Street. Colvin attempted to get away by taking the Interstate 95 on-ramp and exiting on Ohio Street, then taking the I-95 on-ramp south and exiting back onto Union Street, according to Edwards.
When the teenager got to Union Street he drove straight across the road onto Sunset Avenue.
“The vehicle fishtailed up Sunset Avenue, crashed into a utility pole, shearing it off and sending sparks from a transformer into two trees, which caught fire, before spinning into three other trees,” Edwards said.
Colvin took off on foot and could not be found. A single Nike sneaker was found at the scene.
Officers were investigating the first crash when a black Jeep Grand Cherokee was reported stolen from Seventeenth Street. A short time later it crashed at the bottom of Nelson Street hill.
Police found the Jeep, with extensive damage, in the middle of the road with debris all over the roadway. Several people had stopped and one man pointed out to the officers that the driver was hiding in the bushes just off the roadway, Edwards said.
Officer Bagley went into the bushes and found Colvin “lying on the ground with only one Nike sneaker on his right foot and a laceration to his arm,” the sergeant said.
He was taken by ambulance to Eastern Maine Medical Center’s emergency room and upon release was charged with felony OUI, felony eluding an officer and two counts of felony theft, as well as operating under suspension and driving to endanger.
Colvin faces up to five years in prison for each of the felonies if convicted.
He was taken to the Penobscot County Jail where he remained Tuesday morning. His first court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday, a jail official said.
Colvin was indicted in April by the Penobscot County grand jury for burglary and theft by unauthorized taking. He allegedly stole a minivan in Bangor in June 2011 and was arrested in Kenduskeag by Maine State Police, according to a Bangor Daily News archives. He was charged with driving to endanger, criminal operating under the influence, unauthorized use of property, refusal to submit to arrest and operating with a suspended license, Trooper Christopher Cookson of the Maine State Police said at the time.
Colvin was 17 when Surles was mortally wounded by a gunshot on Cumberland Street two years ago during a gang fight involving teenagers from the area.
He testified for the prosecution at the trial of his one-time friend Zachary Carr, age 18 at the time of the shooting, who was convicted of Surles’ murder in March 2011 and sentenced to 35 years in prison. Carr’s attorneys later asked for a new trial because they said Colvin lied on the stand. That appeal was denied.
Colvin, who told the Bangor Daily he became hooked on pills at the age of 14 and then added alcohol to the mix, appeared to be on the road to recovery in December 2010 when he got a job after nine months at Mountain View Youth Development Center in Charleston.