BELFAST, Maine — A Winterport woman faces a slew of charges in the wake of a bizarre low-speed chase that weaved through Belfast Tuesday morning.
Police charged Rebecca Hills — also known as Rebecca Simpson — 32 of Winterport, with eluding a police officer, failure to stop for a police officer, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, operating under the influence, aggravated criminal mischief and refusing to submit to arrest, Belfast police Chief Michael McFadden said Wednesday.
The chase became something of a spectacle as it wound at slow speeds past downtown breakfast spots and offices and traversed neighborhood streets.
It started around 7:30 a.m., when two Waldo County Communications Center dispatchers saw a white Volvo being driven erratically near the dispatch center. They asked police to be on the lookout for the vehicle and check on the driver.
Nearly an hour and a half later, a Perkins Road resident called police to report that a white Volvo was “traveling at a high rate of speed in reverse on the roadway,” McFadden said.
A few minutes later, Belfast police Officer Michael Boucher spotted the Volvo on Church Street and pulled it over. The Volvo stopped on the wrong side of the road with its hazard lights flashing. When Boucher exited his SUV to speak with the driver, she drove off through the busy intersection with Main Street and turned onto High Street.
Boucher and Officer Roy Smith chased the vehicle — slowly. The Volvo traveled between 25 and 30 miles per hour for the bulk of the chase, but the driver seemed to be jerking the wheel back and forth, “fishtailing” the Volvo, according to McFadden.
After a few minutes, the Volvo made it to Front Street near the Front Street Pub, where the driver lost control and spun around. The officers boxed the car in with their SUVs and got out to confront the driver, but Hills put the Volvo in reverse, accelerated into one SUV before shifting back into drive and striking the other SUV.
The Volvo glanced off the second SUV, launched into a snowbank, and took out a light pole, where it got stuck on the broken base.
“Both officers ordered the female driver out of the Volvo at gunpoint,” McFadden said. “When she didn’t comply, she was removed by the officers.”
Police say Hills fought with officers and resisted as she was pulled out of the car. Both Hills and Smith were taken to Waldo County General Hospital to be checked out and treated for minor injuries before being released later that day.
McFadden declined to say what substance police suspect Hills was under the influence of at the time of the chase, as the department doesn’t release results of blood tests.
Police continue to investigate, and more charges could be pending.
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.