PERHAM, Maine — State police want to know why a Massachusetts man was parked on a lonely northern Maine road, 400 miles from home, and why he fled when a trooper approached him early Friday, they said Sunday.

Trooper Fred Thomas of Troop F in Houlton was on routine patrol at about 1:40 a.m. when he approached a 1997 Toyota Corolla parked on Case Road with a male driver asleep in the driver’s seat, Sgt. David McPherson said.

The driver awoke as Thomas approached, started the Corolla and took off. Thomas ran to his vehicle and pursued the Corolla onto Mouse Island Road before the Corolla ran out of road and the man ran into the woods, McPherson said.

While Thomas secured the car, several other troopers arrived, as did a state police German shepherd and handler. The handler, Trooper Jeff Clark, and his dog, Hanno, tracked the scent left by the driver and found 25-year-old Justin Antille of Amesbury, Mass., almost 1½ hours later hiding in the woods.

Wet and cold, Antille told police that he ran because he feared that police had warrants for his arrest, McPherson said.

Antille was charged with eluding a police officer, a Class C felony, and was being held at Aroostook County Jail late Sunday on an undisclosed bail, a jail official said.

State police were investigating whether any crimes had been reported in the Case Road area or nearby before Antille was found and whether he had any other warrants for his arrest. Anyone with information about Antille or why he might have been there is asked to call state police at 800-924-2261.

All calls will be kept confidential.

Perham is a small Aroostook County town along Route 228 that has a population of about 414 people, according to the 2000 census. It is about 10 miles west of Caribou.

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