AUBURN, ME—A jail inmate escaped Monday morning and stole an SUV parked in the county building lot before crashing it into another car — all without his pants, authorities said.
David Ricardo Mockler, 23, of Lisbon escaped from Androscoggin County Jail shortly after 9:30 a.m. during recreation time outdoors. He climbed a fence, squeezed through two rows of barbed wire and jumped about 25 feet off a roof, according to Androscoggin County Chief Deputy William Gagne.
Mockler's pants and underwear were ripped off while he was going through the wire, Gagne said.
Mockler commandeered an SUV owned by county employee Tina Chouinard of Greene that was parked in the side lot of the Androscoggin County Building on Court Street. The vehicle, a silver 2019 Toyota Highlander, was unlocked and the keys were in the vehicle, Gagne said.
A short time later, that SUV was involved in a motor vehicle crash in the area of 1724 Minot Ave. in Auburn, which caused extensive damage to Chouinard's vehicle and another vehicle. The Auburn Police Department is investigating that crash, Gagne said.
The Mechanic Falls Police Department located Mockler and attempted to stop him, but Mockler refused to stop, Gagne said.
Deputies from the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office and officers from the Auburn Police Department also responded to assist. The speeds of the chase were under 40 mph because one of the tires on Chouinard's SUV was heavily damaged in the crash, Gagne said.
Mockler turned into a private driveway in the 400 block of South Main Street in Mechanic Falls where he again crashed Chouinard's SUV. Mockler was taken into custody and has been charged with escape, Gagne said.
Mockler was taken to a local hospital by Poland Fire-Rescue with a possible broken ankle and shattered heel, which authorities believe happened when he jumped off the roof, Gagne said.
In addition to the escape charge, Mockler is facing additional charges for the theft of the vehicle, failing to stop and his connection to the Auburn crash, Gagne said.
Mockler has been incarcerated since May 15 and was being held on charges of aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs, unlawful possession of cocaine base, theft by unauthorized taking, criminal mischief and violation of condition of release.
The SUV crashed into the rear of a 2019 Chevrolet Cruze that was traveling west on Minot Avenue and operated by Edward Brackett, 64, of South Paris, sending that car into a utility pole, according to Auburn Police Department Deputy Chief Timothy Cougle.
Brackett and two passengers, Lisa Brackett, 58, of South Paris and Ada Hoyt, 84, of Oxford, were taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston with injuries not considered life-threatening, Cougle said.
The incident is currently under investigation by the police department, he said, adding that Mockler may be facing more charges in connection with the crash.
Androscoggin County Sheriff Eric Samson said Monday that there have been two escape attempts at the jail dating to the 1990s. The earlier one involved an inmate of the former jail building who tried something similar to Mockler and, like Mockler, broke his ankle and shattered his heel.
That inmate climbed fencing onto the roof of the garage then jumped off the garage facing the adjacent YMCA building. He managed to crawl into the basement of the YMCA, where he was found.
The second escape attempt from the jail happened about seven years ago when an inmate jumped off the garage in the jail parking lot and tried to grab a cable, but landed on the pavement because the cable couldn't support his weight, Samson said. That inmate was injured in the fall.
Samson said there are plans to add more razor wire to the area where Mockler managed to squeeze through to make the wired area deeper and crisscrossed in an effort to prevent the possibility of such an escape in the future.
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