High speed chase ends when car strikes sign

FINALLY STOPPED — A high speed chase ended when a stolen car struck the R.G. Johnson Sporting Goods sign off Route 302.

FINALLY STOPPED — A high speed chase ended when a stolen car struck the R.G. Johnson Sporting Goods sign off Route 302.

A high-speed chase ended early Friday morning when a Portland man reportedly crashed a stolen car into the R.G. Johnson Sporting Goods sign off Route 302.

A Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office Deputy was traveling on Route 302 in Naples at about 2 a.m. when he met a vehicle traveling at him at 100 mph in the middle of the road. The deputy attempted to catch up with the vehicle and observed it nearly strike a tractor-trailer truck on the Naples Causeway. The deputy lost sight of the vehicle as it traveled toward Bridgton at over 100 mph.

Another deputy was able to set up in the area of the Bridgton Drive-In and deploy his spike mats. The suspect vehicle struck the spike mats and continued on toward Bridgton. The vehicle was located about 30 seconds later crashed into the sign at R.G. Johnson Sporting Goods at 192 Bridgton Road in Bridgton, causing extensive damage to both the sign and vehicle.

CHARGED — Aaron L. Tanguay, 23, of Portland has been charged in connection with the high speed chase. (Photos courtesy of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office)

CHARGED — Aaron L. Tanguay, 23, of Portland has been charged after allegedly breaking into the Chamber of Commerce office. (Photos courtesy of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office)

The operator had been seen running from the vehicle. Sheriff’s Office K-9 Team responded to the scene in an attempt to locate the operator. Deputies also learned during that time that this vehicle had been stolen out of Portland.

After fleeing into the woods and eluding police for several hours, Aaron L. Tanguay, 23, of 54 Maple Street in Portland, was ultimately arrested after breaking into the Portland Road office of the Greater Bridgton Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce.

Bridgton Police Chief Richard Stillman said a Chamber employee found Tanguay inside when she arrived around 8:30 a.m. Friday.

“Obviously, it scared her half to death,” Chief Stillman said.

Tanguay ran outside, where he was further confronted by painters, who were working on the building. Bridgton Police Officer Mac McCormick located Tanguay a short distance away, and arrested him on charges of burglary, theft and criminal trespass, along with an outstanding probation warrant.

“He broke in through a back window to hide from police and get warm,” Stillman said. “He stole some clothing and changed into it, and they probably woke him up.”

Please follow and like us: