Suspect with felony theft warrant steals two separate police vehicles while handcuffed, crashes, opens fire on cops

Maine police chase by is licensed under
PORTLAND, ME - On Monday, May 6th, in a chaotic chain of events, a suspect managed to steal a police vehicle and crash it, then exchange gunfire with police and proceed to steal another police vehicle. 

According to the Associated Press (AP), at the time, the individual was being transported to a jail by Paris police when he stole a police vehicle while handcuffed. While fleeing the scene in the stolen car, he crashed on Route 117 in Paris, about 50 miles north of Portland. Authorities said that officers confronted the man and gunfire was exchanged.

The suspect was struck, but able to flee again and did so by stealing an Oxford County Sheriff's Office (OCSO) police vehicle, which he crashed not too far up the road. He was then successfully taken into custody and now faces a slew of charges. 

In a follow-up report, the Associated Press (AP), said that at least five law enforcement agencies were involved in the incident. The suspect, since identified as Gary Porter, was already wanted on a felony theft warrant when he was discovered passed out in a chicken coop earlier in the day on Monday, May 6th. He was arrested and taken to a hospital to be evaluated. 

Paris Police Chief, Mike Dailey, said that after the evaluation, he took Porter to jail. Dailey said that he stepped out of the pickup truck to escort him inside when Porter somehow slipped his handcuffs from behind his back, moved to the driver's seat and drove off. Authorities said that the police chief jumped onto the truck's running board to try and stop him but was thrown to the ground.

At that point, a vehicle pursuit was underway by officers from Norway, Oxford, and Paris. Sheriff's deputies and state police also joined the pursuit that transpired in a mostly rural part of Maine. Officers eventually deployed spike mats that blew the tires and caused Porter to crash into a ditch. A bystander's video capture part of the incident at that moment, which reportedly shows Porter with his hands still in handcuffs, circling around the truck and jumping into another police vehicle while in full view of the officers.

Gunfire was exchanged as the officers discharged their duty weapons while Porter climbed into the second police vehicle and took off again. Officials said that he crashed again just a short distance from the initial crash. A total of 11 officers fired at Porter. The suspect was struck by one bullet and none of the officers were hit by gunfire.

As of this writing, a statement on behalf of all the law enforcement departments involved, stated that "officers confronted Porter and gunfire was exchanged." Additional details have yet to be released. On Friday, May 10th, the Office of the Maine Attorney General said that Porter was shot, treated and released from the hospital.

Porter's initial court appearance was originally set for Wednesday, May 8th, by video conference from the Cumberland County Jail. However, his defense said that the medication he was given made him mumble and unable to keep his eyes open. He had another opportunity on Friday, May 10th, but his attorney, Justin Leary said that Porter still was not fit to go before a judge.

Leary said, "I don't think he's mentally equipped right now to go forward." A mental health examination was requested, and Porter has been rescheduled to return to court on May 15th. The video captured by the bystander shows Porter ignoring the officers' telling him to "put your hands up!" as he climbs into a police SUV that had been left with its driver's door open. 

Porter faces two counts of theft, assault on a police officer, escaping custody, eluding police, and violation of bail. All 11 officers have been placed on administrative leave following the officer-involved shooting, which is standard practice after using deadly force. 
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