Spike strips deployed, vehicle’s tires shot out by deputy before chase ends

Camden man arrested following multi-county chase

Posted:  Monday, August 20, 2018 - 2:30am
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BLUE HILL — A Camden man is being evaluated at an area hospital following a morning chase that spanned three counties and involved law enforcement officials from multiple agencies, according to a media release from Waldo County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Matthew Curtis. 

James Thomas, 71, has been charged with reckless conduct and eluding an officer as a result of the incident, which first came to the attention of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office (WSO) at approximately 8 a.m. 

The Sheriff’s Office was notified that Knox County law enforcement was searching for a man they believed to be having a “severe medical issue.” Deputies were provided with a vehicle description and advised that the man in question was making irrational and threatening comments before driving away. 

The vehicle was located by a Waldo County deputy at 8:12 a.m. traveling north on Route 1 in Northport. The deputy attempted to initiate a traffic stop but the driver, later identified as Thomas, refused to stop and continued traveling on Route 1 into Belfast, where members of the WSO and Belfast Police were able to “momentarily stop the vehicle on two occasions,” though each time Thomas was able to evade officers using risky maneuver” according to the release. 

Thomas reportedly came close to striking a Belfast Police officer during the second attempt to stop the vehicle. 

Law enforcement continued their pursuit into Searsport where a Searsport Police officer unsuccessfully tried to deploy a tire deflation device. A second tire deflation device was successfully deployed by Bucksport Police once the vehicle reached their jurisdiction.

Despite the successful deployment Thomas continued to operate with a flat tire, continuing into Blue Hill where Maine State Police took over the role of the primary pursuit vehicle. 

Law enforcement was able to get the vehicle stopped momentarily in Blue Hill, though Thomas again attempted to elude officers. A Searsport Police officer fired several rounds from his duty weapon at the tires of Thomas’ vehicle, which was disabled.

Police were then able to remove Thomas from the vehicle. 


 Erica Thoms can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com