Police chased a Massachusetts man 40 miles through several Hancock County towns at speeds as high as 100 mph on Thursday after he fled an officer who had pulled him over.
The police pursuit of Levon Johnson, 36, of Springfield, Massachusetts, began after Maine State Police Trooper Dana Austin stopped the car on Mast Hill Road in Bucksport at about 5:30 p.m. Austin was dealing with another car occupant when Johnson took off, according to a state police statement and court documents issued Friday.
With Johnson allegedly driving more than 30 mph over the speed limit through downtown Bucksport, the pursuit carried onto Verona Island and over the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and through several towns before ending on Main Street in Winterport, state police said.
No one was injured despite Johnson’s swerving by several cars and into oncoming lanes, sometimes at 100 mph. The court documents do not describe why Johnson fled, road conditions or how many other vehicles were on the road at the time.
During the chase, Johnson allegedly hit a vehicle on the bridge and almost hit Austin, a member of Maine State Police Troop J based in Ellsworth.
Austin at one point used his cruiser to spin Johnson’s vehicle sideways and force it to stop before Johnson started up again, allegedly coming within a foot of striking Austin after he had exited his cruiser, the documents state.
Police put a spike strip on the road to stop Johnson, but he drove over it and kept going, according to the court documents.
Johnson was charged with eluding a police officer, passing a roadblock, aggravated reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon (the car), forgery, criminal speeding, operating without a license, aggravated driving to endanger, refusing to submit to arrest and disorderly conduct.
Judge Michael Roberts ordered Johnson to be held on $50,000 bail during Johnson’s initial appearance in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court on Friday.
Johnson, who did not make bail, is due again in court Feb. 14.
State police Sgt. Alden Bustard; Cpl. Christopher Smith; Troopers Jeremy Caron and Taylor Dube and Dube’s trained police dog; members of the the Maine Marine Patrol; the Waldo County and Hancock County Sheriff’s offices; and the Bucksport Police Department participated in the pursuit or assisted afterward.
The investigation is continuing and more charges are expected, state police said.