Watch Cuffed Man Steal Maine Sheriff's Vehicle after Chase, Shootout

May 7, 2024
Video footage captured a handcuffed suspect in a hospital gown who had stolen a Paris police chief's truck, exchanging gunfire with police before stealing an Oxford County Sheriff's Department cruiser.

By Joe Charpentier

Source Sun Journal, Lewiston, Maine

PARIS, ME — A handcuffed man threw the Paris police chief out of his truck Monday, took his gun and raced away in the chief's official vehicle until he crashed into a ditch, exchanged gunfire with a handful of pursuing officers and then stole a sheriff's cruiser and took off again.

Gary Porter, 37, was finally nabbed after officers chased him down after a second crash. He remained in custody Monday night.

Despite the dangerous and chaotic adventure, which closed roads and stunned the community, nobody was seriously injured, authorities said.

Porter, who has no fixed address, was charged with two counts of theft, assault on a police officer, escaping, eluding and violation of bail, according to a Maine Department of Public Safety press release.

Police said that Porter was first arrested at 7:18 a.m. on a felony theft warrant. He was initially taken to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway due to unrelated health conditions.

As Paris Police Chief Mike Dailey took the handcuffed Porter from the hospital to the Oxford County Jail, authorities said, the arrested man somehow slipped his cuffed hands from behind his back to his front side.

Porter then struggled with Dailey, moved into the driver's seat of the chief's police truck and threw Dailey out as he began driving away, according to the press release.

Officers from Norway, Oxford and Paris departments, Cumberland and Oxford County sheriffs' deputies, Maine State Police and Fire Marshals pursued Porter until he crashed the truck into a ditch on Route 117 in Paris.

Witness Linda Marie Mercer of Bridgton found herself trapped behind stopped police vehicles beside the truck after it ran into the ditch.

Mercer said that she watched the scene in front of her: a man dressed in a hospital gown came out of the truck and opened fire on police on the roadway in front of her. She said officers immediately shot back.

The man must have "hunkered down" in the ditch, Mercer said, because as soon as police stopped shooting, he stood up and ran. She said he was in handcuffs and holding a gun.

Mercer said he leaped into what looked like another police vehicle on the road ahead of her and took off.

In a video that Mercer took of the scene, it's possible to hear officers shouting for Porter to surrender and then an exchange of gunfire.

According to the release, after the gunfire Porter stole an Oxford County Sheriff's Department vehicle, which he crashed shortly after.

Porter was apprehended and taken to a local hospital for injuries, the release said. He was once again transported to Oxford County Jail.

All officers involved in the gunfire exchange have been placed on administrative leave, a standard practice for officer-involved shootings.

The Maine Attorney General's Office is investigating the incident. The Maine Attorney General's Office investigates all officer-involved shootings.

A Stephens Memorial Hospital spokesperson deferred questions to law enforcement.

Moss said Maine State Police, Oxford County Sheriff's Office and Norway, Oxford and Paris police departments were all present at the end of the incident. Cumberland County Sheriff's deputies were also on the scene.

Many roads in South Paris were closed off during and after the incident. Mercer, who managed to depart from the scene and head to her appointment, said police vehicles were still converging on the area when she left.


(c)2024 the Sun Journal (Lewiston, Maine)

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