BELFAST, Maine — An Orland teen who got into a high-speed chase with police last December will spend four months in jail.
Austin W. Ashmore, 18, was sentenced last week at Belfast District Court after pleading guilty to several charges connected with the Dec. 3 incident. The chase evidently began when a Waldo County Sheriff’s Office deputy was driving fast on Route 1 through Searsport in order to support an officer who was at a potentially dangerous situation in Winterport.
Deputy Kevin Littlefield wrote in an affidavit filed with the court that while most vehicles were yielding to him, one did not. That red sedan sped up to 80 miles per hour or more as it approached downtown Searsport, even though Littlefield had activated his siren. The red sedan turned onto a road by Tozier’s Market in Searsport, and the deputy followed it for awhile before he turned around to go to Winterport. Altogether, the chase lasted just a couple of minutes, Littlefield wrote.
The next day, he received a message from an anonymous caller who reported knowing who was driving the car. Littlefield followed up on information from the tip and spoke to a 15-year-old girl who told him she had been a passenger in the car driven by Ashmore. She told the officer that when the police car came up behind them with its lights on, Ashmore told her he “couldn’t stop, as he’d go to prison for 35 years,” Littlefield wrote. She told the officer that at points during the brief chase, Ashmore was driving around 100 miles per hour, and she was “really freaked out.”
She also showed the officer a Facebook Messenger conversation between the two, in which Ashmore wrote that he couldn’t believe he had gotten away.
Littlefield then went to speak to Ashmore at his home in Orland, but the teen denied everything. Because he was on bail from a previous charge, the deputy said he was going to arrest Ashmore, at which point the teen became agitated.
Ashmore ran through the house and resisted arrest for some time, but eventually was taken to Waldo County Jail to be booked, Littlefield reported.
Last week, the teen pleaded guilty to speeding 30-plus miles over the speed limit, driving to endanger, failing to stop for an officer and violating conditions of release. A Class C felony charge of eluding an officer was dismissed. In addition to being sentenced to four months in jail, Ashmore was fined $575.