LEWISTON — A woman shot by police after a high-speed chase Tuesday was treated for a neck injury at a local hospital, then went to jail, authorities said Wednesday.
Kristy Cookson, 28, of Manchester was released from the hospital and taken to Androscoggin County Jail Wednesday afternoon, but was refused pending a psychological examination, a jail spokesman said. She was admitted at the jail later in the day, police said, and is being held on $25,000 cash bail.
Cookson was driving a pickup truck without the owner's permission when she was spotted driving erratically in traffic Tuesday evening. Police pursued her near Walnut and Howard streets when she refused to pull over. They followed her down Horton Street where she drove around a construction site. She drove the wrong way on Ash Street, then sped down Central Avenue past Russell Street, at times reaching 80 mph, police Chief Michael Bussiere said. She crashed into a parked car on outer Central Avenue.
Police charged her with several felony counts, including reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and eluding police. She also was charged with operating after license suspension and violation of bail conditions, Bussiere said.
"It's quite likely that additional charges will follow," Bussiere said. That would be up to the District Attorney's Office, which may wait to present its case to a grand jury.
Cookson is expected to appear in court Thursday, at the earliest, Bussiere said.
Two officers fired their weapons Tuesday night after Cookson tried to run over at least one officer, according to police. Those two officers, Raymond Vega and Keith Caouette, have been put on administrative leave with pay and were at the station Wednesday finishing their reports of Tuesday's events.
"It was fortunate that nobody else had to go to the hospital last night. I really believe that," Bussiere said. "With all due respect to the fact that she was injured and that deadly force was employed, it could have been a lot worse."
The pickup driven by Cookson is registered to Bryan Rand of Pine Cove Road, Manchester.
Kennebec County Sheriff Randall Liberty said Rand, who shares his home with Cookson, reported his 2005 Chevrolet pickup stolen Wednesday morning. Bussiere said his department is working with the Kennebec County Sheriff's Department to investigate the stolen-vehicle report.
It was the second vehicle Rand had reported stolen in the past week.
According to Lt. Donald Pomelow of the Maine State Police, Rand reported a stolen vehicle on Nov. 24. "We put out a teletype on the stolen vehicle and Lewiston police called back very quickly, stating that Ms. Cookson was arrested for OUI in that vehicle earlier in the day," Pomelow said.
The vehicle was impounded in Lewiston and Rand declined to prosecute, Pomelow said.
Police had blood drawn from Cookson on Tuesday. That sample was taken Wednesday to the Maine State Police Crime Laboratory in Augusta where it will tested for alcohol and drugs, Bussiere said.
Cookson has a "very, very extensive" criminal record in Maine and in Florida's Broward County, Bussiere said.
She was charged on Nov. 24 with drunken driving in Lewiston and was released on $100 cash bail. Her bail conditions included not to use or possess alcohol or illegal drugs.
Bussiere said his department would conduct an in-house review of the shootings to determine whether policies and procedures were followed. A debriefing of the chase also will take place.
An officer is conducting an accident reconstruction, with Maine State Police assisting.
The Maine Attorney General's Office is expected to review the shooting to determine whether deadly force was warranted, which is standard procedure.
District Attorney Norman Croteau and Attorney General Janet Mills appeared at the scene Tuesday night.
Bussiere said examination of Cookson's conduct in Broward County might help explain her behavior Tuesday evening.
"Once we get those answers, it may shed some more light," he said.
Cookson was arrested 11 times while in Broward County, at least twice for assault on a law enforcement officer or emergency medical provider, Bussiere said. She also was arrested at least once for alleged drunken driving. She had several drug arrests, he said.
In Maine, Cookson was convicted last year on one count of domestic violence assault and sentenced to 120 days in jail, with all time suspended. She violated her probation on that charge earlier this year and served eight days in jail.
Since Cookson's Maine license was issued, she has been involved in one previous accident and, since 2008, has been convicted of one count of operating under the influence, operating without a license, operating an unregistered vehicle, failure to pay a fine, failure to display inspection sticker, failure to produce evidence of insurance and three convictions for failing to appear in court on separate charges of failing to report an accident, driving without a license and operating under the influence of liquor. In 2008, Cookson's license was suspended for seven months for failure to take a Breathalyzer test.
Kennebec Journal staff writer Craig Crosby contributed to this report.