POLICE BEAT

Suspect crashes car during chase, flees on foot after traffic stop

Posted May 17, 2012, at 2:11 p.m.

SACO, Maine — A rainy, early-morning pursuit Thursday ended when the suspect crashed his vehicle, leaving some drugs behind as he fled the accident scene on foot, police say.

Saco police Officer Rachel Horning attempted to stop a 2003 Hyundai for speeding on Elm Street, Police Chief Rod Paul said. The driver stopped briefly but then took off, Paul said.

Horning attempted to pursue the suspect but couldn’t catch up, Paul said.

“It would’ve been unsafe to try to do so,” Paul said, because of the rainy conditions.

The vehicle eventually crashed into a telephone pole on Bradley Street, Paul said, leaving live wires hanging across the road, and the car caught fire.

When Horning got to the scene she saw the suspect flee but could not pursue him on foot due to the wires, according to Paul. The officer unsuccessfully attempted to extinguish the fire.

Saco Fire Department officials were called to put out the fire, and when officers searched the vehicle they found mushrooms and marijuana. A state police K-9 unit was brought in to help track the suspect but the dog lost the scent due to the rain, according to Paul.

The suspect remains at large and the case is under investigation. Paul said the vehicle is registered to a 24-year-old man who lives a quarter-mile from the crash scene and is a suspect in the case.

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