CARIBOU, Maine – A Fort Fairfield man was arrested Wednesday on multiple charges after he led police through four towns during a high speed chase and reportedly fired shots at them.
Paul Cote II, 47, is being held in Aroostook County Jail on charges of reckless conduct with a firearm, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, eluding a police officer, passing a police roadblock, driving to endanger, speeding more than 30 mph over the posted speed limit, operating a motor vehicle after license suspension and violating conditions of release on previous charges. Bail is set at $50,000 cash or $125,000 surety bond, officials said.
There were three active warrants for Cote’s arrest when police took him into custody Wednesday after the 36-mile high speed chase that began and ended in Caribou.
Caribou Officer Douglas Bell tried to stop Cote’s silver Buick four-door car at 8:45 a.m. on Main Street in Caribou for a motor vehicle violation. Cote, who was alone in the vehicle, had a suspended driver’s license. Cote didn’t stop for Bell and went on Fort Street before running the red light at the Route 1 intersection, police said.
Officers chased Cote on back roads to Presque Isle and then Fort Fairfield where Chief Mathew Cummings took over leading the chase as it entered his town. Officers said they kept a safe distance behind Cote, who police described as driving at reckless speeds.
Cote eluded capture by police from multiple agencies through Caribou, Presque Isle, Fort Fairfield and Limestone, making his way along Route 89 for approximately 36 miles. When Cote reached the Otter Street intersection of the access highway back in Caribou, his vehicle hit a spike mat, deflating all four of its tires. The car crashed into the trees off the northbound lane of the connector highway after traveling a short distance, police said
Cote then took off on foot into the woods, allegedly firing multiple shots from a .25-caliber semi-automatic handgun in the direction of the officers who chased him. Cote surrendered to the officers at approximately 9:14 a.m. after a short chase through the woods.
Caribou Fire and Ambulance transported Cote to Cary Medical Center where he was treated for minor injuries and released. He was then transported to Aroostook County Jail.
Besides the charges Cote incurred on Wednesday, he was wanted on charges of eluding a police officer, driving to endanger, operating a motor vehicle after license suspension and violation of bail conditions that stemmed from a chase on Oct. 6. Police ended that chase before they caught him because of poor visibility and the time of day it was.
No officers were injured nor vehicles damaged, other than Cote’s car during Wednesday’s chase, police said.
Cote’s initial court appearance is set for Feb. 3, 2022.