Driver endangers public with 100-mph pursuit


FARMINGTON – A Pittsfield man remained in jail Wednesday, held on $25,000 cash bail or $50,000 property surety on charges of criminal speeding and trying to strike state police troopers with his vehicle as he tried to avoid them.

Richard L. MacDaid II, 23, was arrested by state police early Monday on two counts of reckless conduct with a weapon, and one count each of eluding an officer, passing a road block, criminal speed and driving to endanger.

According to information filed in court Tuesday by Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Andrew Robinson, the incident began in Palmyra, where MacDaid was clocked at criminal speeds. He refused to stop for trooper there, continuing on into Skowhegan.

Skowhegan police set up a roadblock but MacDaid continued past it and into Franklin County where he kept eluding police, speeding and acting with reckless conduct with a weapon, Robinson wrote.

According to Maine State Trooper Scott Dalton’s affidavit filed in the court, he received information over the police radio that a trooper clocked MacDaid’s vehicle on radar going more than 90 miles per hour on Route 2 in Palmyra at about 1:45 a.m.

That trooper attempted to stop the vehicle but it wouldn’t stop. He was investigating an accident and had a civilian in his car and was unable to go after the speeding vehicle, Dalton wrote.

He received more information that Skowhegan police had also clocked the vehicle for criminal speed as well and they discontinued their pursuit in Norridgewock, he wrote.

Dalton said he continued to watch for the vehicle and spotted it as he was headed east on Route 2 in New Sharon going at a high rate of speed.

The radar unit clocked the vehicle at 100 miles per hour, he wrote.

Dalton started pursuing the vehicle and Trooper Matt Casavant also joined in.

The vehicle then turned around and started back toward Skowhegan.

“I observed the vehicle heading back into my direction,” Dalton wrote. “The vehicle abruptly swerved into my direction. I pulled over as far as I could into the ditch to avoid the vehicle. The vehicle missed me by less than a foot. I turned around on the vehicle and it turned again and headed back toward Farmington. Once the vehicle headed back toward Farmington, I observed the vehicle swerve toward Trooper Casavant on the opposite side of the road. It appeared as if the driver attempted to strike Trooper Casavant. The vehicle continued toward Farmington.”

Dalton requested help from Farmington police. They set up spike mats on Route 2 near Mosher’s Seafood.

The mats flattened all four of McDaid’s tires, Dalton said, and the vehicle came to a stop near the Farmington Motel.

Dalton said he ordered the driver out of the vehicle and he exited but walked away ignoring his commands.

In the end, Farmington officer Ed Hastings used his department-issued Tazer to subdue the suspect. McDaid still struggled on the ground but was handcuffed moments later, Dalton wrote.

Tests were administered and it was shown that he wasn’t under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the affidavit stated.

Court conditions on MacDaid’s release from jail are that he take his prescribed medication, not drive a motor vehicle, and go to Togus Hospital for evaluation and treatment as recommended by the medical staff there as originally scheduled.