Swanville man charged after crashing stolen van in Belfast

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 30, 2012, at 1:22 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — An apparently intoxicated man’s joyride in a stolen van Thursday morning lasted for just a few minutes before it hit a stone wall, launched off Doak Road and flipped onto the passenger’s side.

Hector Bohan, 22, of Swanville has not been legally able to drive since his license was suspended after a crash in 2007, according to Detective Sgt. Bryan Cunningham of the Belfast Police Department. However, that did not stop him from allegedly driving off about 6 a.m. in a van that had been parked in the driveway of a Doak Road residence with the keys left inside.

“A guy was watching the news. All of a sudden, his van was driving off,” Cunningham said later Thursday morning.

Five minutes after the man reported the vehicle theft, a woman called police to say she had heard squealing tires and a loud crash by Doak’s Machine Shop.

When Officer Wendall Ward arrived at the scene of the crash, he saw a man walking unsteadily away from the vehicle and into the street.

“I couldn’t tell at that point if he was injured or intoxicated,” Ward said.

But then Bohan started running into the woods, and Ward chased him.

“As soon as I got close, I could smell the alcohol and tell he was impaired,” the officer said.

Ward grabbed Bohan, who did not fight with the officer, and brought him to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast to be checked out for apparently minor injuries suffered during the accident.

“It was a bad crash. It’s a wonder he didn’t get killed,” Ward said.

After he was treated at the hospital, Bohan was taken to Waldo County Jail in Belfast to be arrested and booked. He has been charged with unauthorized use of property and operating after suspension, Cunningham said.

Ward said Bohan also will face a charge of operating under the influence.

Police are urging residents to lock their vehicles and their homes.

“Most burglars are criminals of opportunity. They’re looking for an easy target,” Ward said. “If you’re not locking your cars, people are going to reach in them and steal your CDs and steal your iPods. They’re going to take whatever they can, if you don’t lock it.”

http://bangordailynews.com/2012/08/30/news/midcoast/swanville-man-charged-after-crashing-stolen-van-in-belfast/ printed on September 16, 2014