BANGOR, Maine — A Corinth man police wanted to question about Saturday ’s robbery of a TD Bank branch allegedly fled when authorities approached him the following day. He led detectives on a high-speed pursuit before crashing his vehicle and fleeing on foot into the woods, according to court documents.
Earl E. Gary III, 37, of Corinth was arrested Sunday on multiple charges. He made his first appearance in Penobscot Judicial Center by video from Penobscot County Jail Monday afternoon. He faces charges of eluding officers, a Class C crime, as well as refusing to submit to arrest, driving to endanger and operating after suspension of his license, each Class E crimes.
Gary has not yet been charged in connection with the weekend robbery, but court documents state that police believed he might be a suspect and were hoping to talk to him before he fled.
He is being held at Penobscot County Jail on $2,500 cash bond, with an added condition that he not drive until he has a license.
The TD Bank branch at 878 Stillwater Ave. was reportedly robbed about 3:10 p.m Saturday, and police called on the public to help track down the suspect.
Police sought a “lone suspect described as a white male, late 30s or early 40s, [who] entered the bank wearing a black sweatshirt with a gray hoodie underneath and dark jeans,” Sgt. Catherine E. Rumsey, spokeswoman for the Bangor police said in a press release after the robbery. “He was described by the bank staff as being approximately 6-foot-2 to 6-foot-4 inches tall and 200 to 220 pounds.”
Gary stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 210 pounds, according to jail records. When he appeared on video before District Court Judge Bruce Jordan on Monday, he had a large, bushy beard. In video surveillance images from the bank, it appears the suspect has his chin tucked underneath his jacket and gray hoodie.
According to police reports and court documents filed at Penobscot Judicial Center, Bangor police Detectives Tim Cotton and Brent Beaulieu received a tip that Gary may have committed the robbery.
“It was believed that the suspect had fled the scene in a dark colored pickup, and the information provided was that Earl had borrowed his father’s black GMC pickup,” Beaulieu said in his report.
After going to Corinth to investigate and failing to find Gary, the detectives headed back toward Bangor on Route 15. On the way, they passed the truck headed in the opposite direction and turned around to follow it. They found the truck at Gary’s father’s home in Corinth with Gary still inside shortly after 3 p.m.
“Earl [Gary] was watching us in his mirror, and Detective Cotton made a motion that we wanted to talk,” Beaulieu wrote.
Cotton got out of his vehicle and began walking toward Gary’s truck, saying he wanted to talk, but Gary drove off.
The detectives pursued Gary, who was driving fast on an icy Route 43. Gary was driving a black 2006 GMC 2500 registered to his father during the chase, according to police reports.
“At one point, I was traveling at over 80 mph and just barely gaining on the suspect vehicle,” Beaulieu said in his report.
Because of the dangerous nature of the chase, police slowed down and turned off their emergency lights but continued driving in the same direction as the truck.
When they reached the intersection of routes 43 and 221 in Hudson, they found the truck off the road. Gary was no longer in the truck, but the detectives could see footprints in the snow leading into the woods, according to the report.
Penobscot County Sheriff’s deputies and a Maine State Police K-9 unit later arrived at the truck and tracked Gary’s path through the woods.
“We followed a very long and arduous track through very challenging terrain and weather conditions. The tracks [led] wildly through the woods,” Penobscot County sheriff’s Deputy Ryan Fitch said in his report.
Around 5:45 p.m., Fitch and others caught up with Gary, who was hiding behind a tree, nearly two hours after police started tracking him. Police returned to the road with Gary at about 6:30 p.m., where a waiting ambulance met them to take Gary to Eastern Maine Medical Center to be examined.
Gary has several past convictions on his record, including operating under the influence of alcohol, driving with a suspended license and failing to pay child support, according to court records.
During Gary’s initial appearance, attorney Nick Fowler told Jordan that Gary couldn’t afford the bail. He said that Gary, a father of three, was enrolled at Eastern Maine Community College, and waiting in jail would force him to miss classes. He also said Gary has diabetes and needed daily access to medication.
“His conduct here was extremely risky and dangerous,” Jordan responded in agreeing to the district attorney’s $2,500 bail amount request. He described Gary’s decision to speed away from officers on icy roads “concerning.”
Rumsey said Bangor police are still the lead agency investigating the robbery, but that the FBI is providing assistance and has been since the probe began. She declined to comment on the robbery investigation because it is ongoing.