PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — A 25-year-old Caribou resident said he was shaken but uninjured after someone shot at him during an apparent road rage incident on Caribou Road in Presque Isle Thursday.
The Caribou man — whose name is being withheld because he fears retaliation — said he was driving his wife’s car on Route 1 from Presque Isle toward Caribou at around 5:45 p.m. when a car he had passed shortly after going by the Aroostook Centre Mall suddenly pulled up very close behind him.
“I couldn’t see the hood of the vehicle … all of it was windshield,” the man said.
He switched lanes to allow the vehicle to pass him, but the car followed and continued to tailgate. He said he sped up “like a rocket,” only to have the car behind him speed up too.
Beginning to get worried and frustrated, he slowed down, sped up again and dropped a paper cup out the window to signal the car to move back.
“I shouldn’t have done it,” he said. “I think it might have pissed him off more.”
He said he flashed his brake lights, then hit his brakes harder than before. The tailing car fell far back. When the car was 50-75 feet behind him, the man heard four or five loud noises.
“All of a sudden, I hear bang bang, like ‘what was that?’ I think they’re shooting some type of firework at me,” he said.
As he called Caribou Police to report that someone was shooting at him, the other car drove into the breakdown lane and stopped. He followed, wanting to keep an eye on the vehicle.
Both vehicles — his and the pursuer’s — sat in the breakdown lane for about 30 seconds before the other car turned around and headed back toward Presque Isle. He said he did not get a license plate number because he was so startled about what had just occurred.
He said he found a bullet hole through his back license plate when he got home, and that a 9mm bullet from his father’s pistol fit fully inside the hole.
He called Caribou Police again, reporting that the car “definitely” had a bullet hole. Presque Isle Police — who are investigating because the incident occurred in their city — retrieved the bullet from the car after cutting up the backseat, he said.
“I told [my wife], I’d rather have them cut up the seat than cutting me up to retrieve a bullet,” he said.
Since the man was driving his wife’s car, the idea that his family could have been in the vehicle left him expectedly shaken.
“It was a little scary,” he said. “It’s not every day that you get shot at.”
While the man said he was shocked about what happened, it hasn’t made him think any differently about The County, where he has lived most of his life.
“There’s always stuff everywhere … it’s the world we live in today,” he said. “But I love living up in The County.”
Police are asking anyone who lives on Route 1 — or was driving in the area around 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, June 4 — to contact authorities at 207-764-4476. Police had not released the man’s name on Saturday but confirmed his identity to The Star-Herald on Tuesday.