A 35-year-old Brewer man crashed his car Tuesday into a utility pole, sped away with a child crying for help in the back seat and then abandoned the vehicle and reported it stolen in an attempted cover-up, police said.

Witnesses on Summer Street in Brewer saw a 2010 gray Hyundai Accent around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday knock down a utility pole, crash into a house and then flee the scene, according to police. As the driver sped away, a child shouted “help!” to passersby, police said.

The crash caused power outages and left a mess of wires in the street, which trapped an oncoming driver in its web, Brewer Chief Jason Moffett said. Crews from Emera Maine helped untangle the man and his vehicle, who wasn’t injured, but had to “sit tight” in his car for a while, Moffett said.

The alleged driver, Aaron Spinney, later called police — not to confess to the hit-and-run, but to try and cover it up by reporting that his car had been stolen, Moffett said.

Spinney’s call drew officers to his home, where over the course of several interviews, he gave officers a series of inconsistent, suspicious answers, Moffett said.

Eventually, police asked if he’d lied about the car, which was found abandoned near the waterfront by a Penobscot Sheriff’s Deputy assisting in the search.

The child was also found safe, although Moffett would not identify his or her relation to Spinney or where he or she was found.

Spinney was charged with multiple offenses, including leaving the scene of a property damage accident, operating a motor vehicle with an expired registration, driving to endanger, permitting display of a false registration validation device, falsely reporting a stolen vehicle, failure to provide evidence of insurance, and endangering the welfare of a child.

The crash is still under investigation, police said.

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Callie Ferguson

Callie Ferguson is an investigative reporter for the Bangor Daily News. She writes about criminal justice, police and housing.