Father of first suspect arrested in hit-and-run that injured Belfast councilor

Posted March 15, 2013, at 6:20 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — A Knox man was arrested Friday and charged in connection with the hit-and-run accident that sent a Belfast city councilor to the hospital last week.

Steven Lucas, 59, of Knox, was arrested Friday by Brunswick police. He was charged with aggravated leaving the scene of an accident, aggravated operating under the influence, aggravated driving to endanger and operating without a license.

Police initially had arrested Lucas’ daughter, Derri Lucas, 36, of Knox, in connection with the hit-and-run.

Police now believe that Steven Lucas was driving the car last Friday that struck Eric Sanders, 53, who was just feet away from his driveway after finishing a 20-mile bike ride, according to Belfast Police Chief Mike McFadden. The driver of the car then left the scene.

Sanders is recovering from injuries that include a mangled ear and a broken vertebrae, he told the BDN this week.

Police investigating the hit-and-run found broken glass and a broken side mirror in the road. Later that day, they were called to a disturbance on Patterson Hill and noticed a maroon vehicle outside the home with damage consistent with the hit-and-run accident. They asked the man rolling a cigarette inside the car if he had been in town earlier and if he had been in an accident.

“The man immediately said, ‘I don’t remember being in town,” McFadden told the BDN earlier this week. “Then he said, ‘I thought I saw a bicycle fall down. I asked my daughter if she’d hit anybody on a bicycle.’”

Police talked to his daughter, Derri Lucas, 36, also of Knox, who had the car keys in her pocket and appeared to be “extremely intoxicated,” which was a violation of her bail conditions from a previous offense. The car belonged to her boyfriend.

“The statement given by Steven Lucas at that time was believable,” McFadden said Friday afternoon.

Police arrested Derri Lucas and took her to Waldo County Jail to be booked. In addition to the felony crime of aggravated leaving the scene of a personal injury accident, which police later rescinded, she was charged with violating her conditions of release from the previous offense, operating after suspension, possession of marijuana and refusing to submit to arrest. Those charges remain active.

But the morning after the hit-and-run accident, officers who continued to investigate the circumstances learned that minutes before Sanders was hit, a man who matched Steven Lucas’ description had gone to the nearby McDonald’s to buy some food.

“He was so drunk, the manager and employees were concerned he was going to drive off,” and one even tried to stop him, McFadden said. Security camera footage from the restaurant corroborated their statements, police said.

As police learned that the father’s accusation of his daughter had been unfounded, Steven Lucas apparently took the opportunity to skip town.

Police later found him and arrested him Friday afternoon before taking him to the Cumberland County Jail in Portland to be booked.

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