Newburgh man arrested in Orono after pursuit from Bangor

Posted Jan. 04, 2013, at 1:45 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 04, 2013, at 3:27 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — Bangor and Orono police collaborated early Friday morning to stop and arrest a Newburgh man who had eluded Queen City officers, according to police.

Edward Purdy, 36, had drawn the attention of Bangor police Officer Wade Betters when he failed to stop for a flashing red light near the Penobscot Bridge around 2:30 a.m., according to Bangor police Lt. Steve Hunt.

Betters attempted to pull Purdy over on the Brewer side of the bridge, but Purdy would not stop, heading back into Bangor via the Joshua Chamberlain bridge, Hunt said. Purdy continued up Union Street and then Hammond Street before heading north on Interstate 95, ignoring Betters’ lights and siren, the lieutenant said.

Orono police Capt. Josh Ewing said officers in that town were notified by dispatchers when the chase was heading their way.

Purdy’s Ford Escape was traveling between 60 and 70 miles per hour in Bangor, and his rate of speed went up to around 75 after he was north of city limits, according to Hunt.

After Orono officers were alerted to the pursuit, they went to the northbound off-ramp of the Kelley Road exit when Purdy was closing in, setting up spike strips under the Kelly Road overpass and at the top of the exit ramp, according to Ewing.

The spikes did the trick, puncturing both front tires of the man’s Ford Escape when he went past Exit 191, Ewing said.

Purdy’s vehicle stopped roughly a mile from where his tires were punctured, and Orono and Bangor police took him into custody quickly, according to Hunt. Purdy had a male passenger in the vehicle, who was not charged with any crime.

Purdy was taken to the Bangor police station for booking, where he refused a breathalyzer test, Hunt said. He was booked into the Penobscot County Jail and charged with eluding a police officer, a Class C felony, and operating under the influence, a Class C felony due to two prior OUI convictions. He also faces charges of failure to submit to arrest, driving to endanger, operating after suspension and violation of bail charges.

At the Penobscot Judicial Center on Friday afternoon, Purdy’s court-appointed attorney asked that he be released with several conditions but no bail. Alice Clifford, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, opposed that request.

“I have some concerns,” she said, noting that Purdy was out on bail for an OUI arrest in Newport from August and on Friday he “had an 18-year-old boy in his car who was under the influence of intoxicants.”

District Court Judge Bruce Jordan set bail at $500 cash for Purdy, banned him from consuming intoxicants, and ordered substance abuse and mental health counseling.

Hunt said Purdy faces up to five years in jail on each felony count if convicted.

BDN reporter Nok-Noi Ricker contributed to this story.

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