State and Lewiston police used aircraft and a tracking dog as they chased a Lewiston man on foot and by vehicle through parts of Lewiston and Greene before arresting him on Thursday.
Chad Nichols, 31, of Lewiston, also allegedly evaded a spike strip during the chase before being charged with eluding, driving to endanger, criminal speeding and operating a motor vehicle after revocation as a habitual defender on Thursday, according to a statement from Katy England, a spokeswoman from Maine State Police.
The pursuit allegedly began when Trooper Ryan Phillips allegedly tried to stop Nichols, a suspected drug trafficker with a revoked driver’s license and two felony warrants for his arrest, near the intersection of Russell and College streets in Lewiston at about 11:40 a.m. Nichols had pulled over and Phillips had gotten out of his vehicle when Nichols allegedly took off again, according to the statement.
The chase continued into Greene, about seven miles north, along Route 202 when Nichols allegedly doubled back toward Lewiston, where the spike strip ― a metal device that stops vehicles by blowing out their tires ― set up near the Lewiston-Greene line was ineffective. Fearing that the chase was becoming unsafe, police stopped pursuing the vehicle when it got into populated areas, but State Police Pilot Supervisor Jerry Pearson saw the alleged suspect vehicle, leading police to a wooded area off Tall Pines Drive, according to the statement.
State police Cpl. Jonathan Russell and his tracking dog, Gus began a track in the wooded area but were unable to find Nichols. Maine Drug Enforcement Agency investigators later got a tip that Nichols had been picked up in a vehicle on Scribner Boulevard in Lewiston, near Webster Street. Lewiston police officers found Nichols there soon after and arrested him.
Nichols’ bail and court date were not immediately available on Thursday.