Hancock man charged after allegedly leading cops on drunken high-speed chase

Posted Dec. 11, 2012, at 4:16 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Hancock man was arrested early Sunday morning after leading police officers on a chase through Ellsworth’s commercial district.

Officers James Gilway and Chad Wilmot observed a vehicle speeding down High Street — radar clocked him at 65 mph in a 35 mph zone — about 1 a.m. Sunday, Lt. Harold Page said on Tuesday. Gilway and Wilmot tried to pull the car over, but the driver kept driving, increasing his speed as he attempted to elude the police, Page said.

Gilway and Wilmot made chase through to Route 1 toward Hancock when the police sergeant on duty called off the chase, figuring it would be better to pick up the driver at his home. By then, police said, they had identified the driver as Gardiner Crabtree, 65, of Hancock.

“We had the plate number and driver identification anyway,” Page said. “The sergeant thought it would be best to call in the state police to pick him up at his house.”

Trooper Ryan Southard drove to Crabtree’s U.S. Route 1 home and arrested him on a charge of violating conditions of release on an unspecified previous charge. He also called Gilway and Wilmot to the scene, who charged Crabtree with eluding an officer, driving to endanger, criminal speeding, failure to stop and operating under the influence.

Crabtree was arrested and brought to Hancock County Jail, where he remained Tuesday afternoon. At the time of his arrest, his blood-alcohol content was .14 percent, police said.

Eluding an officer is a Class C offense, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.

Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.

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