June 22, 2018
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Gray man recaptured after escaping, in cuffs, from police cruiser

By Ryan McLaughlin, BDN Staff

GRAY, Maine — A Gray man who fled a police cruiser in handcuffs and somehow wound up in only his boxer shorts is facing multiple charges, according to police.

The trouble started when Justin Smyth, 20, was involved in a collision at the intersection of Main Street and Shaker Road just before 11 p.m. Saturday, Detective Lt. Donald Foss of the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office said. According to Foss, Smyth’s pickup truck had struck a car driven by a woman whose name police did not release.

Smyth then fled the scene on foot but allegedly returned to the scene after police arrived, Foss said, and a witness quickly quickly pointed him out to Deputy Lucas Hallett.

When Hallett questioned Smyth, alcohol allegedly was evident on the suspect’s breath, and when the deputy attempted to take Smyth into custody, the suspect allegedly tried to stab him with a lit cigarette.

“At some point during that conversation, Smyth was smoking a cigarette and was failing to cooperate with the crash investigation,” explained Foss.

Smyth allegedly started throwing punches at Hallett, prompting the deputy to discharge his Taser, but that had no effect on the suspect, Foss said. The two continued to wrestle on the ground before Hallett was able to get Smyth under control, handcuff him and place him in a police cruiser.

Smyth wasn’t done fighting yet, as he somehow escaped from the cruiser while deputies continued to investigate the incident, according to Foss.

A K-9 unit from Androscoggin County was called in to track the suspect, and while that was going on, a passer-by notified police he saw a handcuffed man wearing nothing but a pair of boxer shorts running through a parking lot.

It turns out the half-naked man was Smyth, who was found hiding under a trailer in the parking lot, Foss said. His clothing was discovered on Main Street.

“They tried to get him out, but he continued to fight,” said Foss.

The police dog wouldn’t have any of it, biting Smyth on the leg, after which he surrendered, according to Foss. He was taken to Maine Medical Center for treatment before being booked into the Cumberland County Jail.

Smyth is facing charges of aggravated OUI, assault, disorderly conduct, refusing to submit to arrest, operating a vehicle without a license and escaping from police. He remains at the jail Monday.

The woman involved in the accident suffered a minor head injury, Foss said. She was treated at Maine Medical Center and released.

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