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A Camden man was charged with leading police on a multi-county chase that ended with an officer firing shots to disable the vehicle in Blue Hill Saturday.

James Thomas, 71, was summoned for reckless conduct and eluding a police officer, according to Waldo County sheriff’s Lt. Matthew Curtis.

Thomas was believed to be experiencing a severe medical issue and was taken to an area hospital for evaluation following the chase, according to Curtis.

The chase began around 8 a.m. Saturday, after Knox County law enforcement notified the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office that they were searching for Thomas.

A Waldo County deputy located the vehicle traveling north on Route 1 in Northport and tried to initiate a traffic stop, but Thomas allegedly refused to stop and continued into Belfast. On two occasions, officers were able to momentarily stop the vehicle, but Thomas allegedly made “reckless maneuvers to evade the officers,” Curtis said.

In the second stop, Thomas allegedly almost struck a Belfast police officer.

As the chase continued into Searsport, a Searsport police officer unsuccessfully attempted to deploy a tire deflation device. A second tire deflation device was successfully deployed by deputies when the chase crossed into Hancock County, but Thomas continued to drive the vehicle with a flat tire.

Maine State Police assumed the primary pursuit role as the chase continued into Blue Hill. Officers momentarily stopped the vehicle in Blue Hill, but Thomas once again allegedly attempted to elude officers.

At this point, a Searsport police officer fired several rounds at the tires of Thomas’ car, disabling the vehicle. Officers were able to remove Thomas from the vehicle and take him to a local hospital for evaluation.

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