Houlton man arrested after hit-and-run accident with stolen vehicle

Posted March 10, 2014, at 7:20 p.m.

HOULTON, Maine — A Houlton man was arrested on several charges Monday after he allegedly was involved in a hit and run accident on U.S. Route 1 in Monticello.

The suspect — 23-year-old James Keaton — allegedly was driving a stolen 2006 Dodge 1500 pickup truck at the time, Maine State Police Sgt. Joshua Haines said early Monday evening in a news release.

Haines said that Keaton was heading south on Route 1 when he attempted to pass a vehicle driven by John Stevens, 54, of Millinocket. As Keaton was doing so, one of the rearview mirrors of the vehicle he was driving struck a mirror on Stevens’ vehicle, causing damage to both.

Keaton failed to stop, as required by state law, and continued onto nearby side streets in Monticello, with Stevens in pursuit. After Stevens caught up with him and confronted him, Keaton left without providing any information, Haines said.

State police obtained a registration record for the vehicle Keaton was driving and determined that it had been reported stolen earlier in the day from Houlton, Haines said.

Keaton was stopped on Route 1 by Trooper Nick Casavant, who determined that Keaton’s license was under suspension, Haines said. The sergeant said that Keaton admitted to taking the vehicle without permission.

After further investigation, Casavant arrested Keaton on charges of leaving the scene of an attended vehicle accident and operating after suspension, and took him to Aroostook County Jail.

Houlton police charged Keaton with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, Haines said.

In addition to Houlton police, Casavant was assisted by state police Lt. John Cote and by agents of U.S. Border Patrol, Haines said.

Both vehicles were operable after the collision and neither driver was injured, he said.

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