TOPSHAM, Maine — Topsham police arrested a 19-year-old Minot man for operating under the influence and eluding an officer after he led a police sergeant and state trooper on a more than 6-mile pursuit on Route 196 early Saturday morning.
Topsham Police Chief Christopher Lewis said Conrad Labbe, 19, of 38 Jackson Hill Road in Minot, was apprehended, arrested and charged with operating under the influence, eluding an officer, criminal speeding and driving to endanger.
The pursuit occurred around 1:42 a.m. Saturday. Lewis said Labbe was driving a Toyota Tundra pickup truck along Route 196 heading toward Lisbon when Sgt. Fred Dunn, who was working an OUI detail funded by a grant, allegedly clocked him as driving 52 mph in a 35-mph zone. Labbe then pulled into J&S Oil, which was closed.
Dunn followed him into the parking lot and attempted to make a traffic stop. Lewis said as Dunn activated the blue emergency lights on the cruiser, however, and started to approach the pickup truck, he saw the brake lights light up and the truck started to drive away. Dunn began to pursue Labbe.
Maine State Police Trooper Kyle Pelletier was already on Route 196 ahead of the pursuit, heading toward Lisbon. Lewis said Labbe at one point was between Dunn and Pelletier, so Pelletier activated his blue lights to try to stop Labbe, who was approaching him from behind.
Instead, Lewis said Labbe drove around the trooper and continued on. Pelletier and Dunn continued the pursuit, and working together, they notified Lisbon Police Department through the Sagadahoc County Communications Center.
Lisbon police set up a spike mat near the Crafts Cars dealership along Route 196, which Lewis said was successful and released the air in the pickup truck’s front tires when it passed by. The truck made it another couple of miles before the tires went flat and Labbe stopped on the side of the road near Highland Avenue in Lisbon. When the truck stopped, Dunn arrested Labbe and brought him back to the police station for processing. Lewis said Labbe posted bail at the station, which was set at $1,000 unsecured.
Lewis said the pursuit spanned 6.7 miles from start to finish. No one was hurt and no other vehicles were involved, he said. Labbe had no passengers. Lewis said Dunn estimated Labbe reached a speed as high as 90 mph. While there is always a risk involved in a pursuit, the low traffic at the time of Saturday morning’s pursuit minimized the risk, he said.