Police officer followed procedure, review says

By Lisa Williams Ackley

Staff Writer

A Bridgton police officer who pursued a driver that sped away from a traffic stop on Willis Park Road last month and died a few minutes later when he crashed his compact car into a tree at a very high rate of speed on Kansas Road did follow departmental policy regarding pursuits by law enforcement officers, according to Chief of Police Kevin Schofield.

Police Officer Josh Muise was attempting to stop a 2001 Hyundai operated by 22-year-old Travis Horan of Naples for speeding, around 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 23, police said.

Horan accelerated his vehicle and fled the scene, allegedly passing several cars on the right-hand side, as he traveled along Route 302 and then took a left on to Kansas Road passing Lake Region Middle School at an extremely high rate of speed, according to witness statements.

Those witness statements, and several other factors were included in Chief Schofield’s administrative internal review into whether Officer Muise followed the Bridgton Police Department’s policy on pursuit by a law enforcement officer.

“I have completed it,” said Chief Schofield said of his internal investigation Tuesday afternoon, “and after reviewing all of the information — audio transcripts, a physical recording of the chase, witness statements and the crash report done by the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, as well as an interview of Josh himself and his recounting of the events — I found that Josh did comply with departmental policy. My investigation shows he did follow procedure and he is not subject to any type of discipline. He will be back at work soon.”

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