Driver flees police, crashes car onto deck, runs away and returns

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MEXICO — Police say an unlicensed driver led them on a short chase late Tuesday night in his girlfriend’s car, which he crashed onto a Harlow Hill house deck, fled on foot and later returned.

Wayne Robert Ingham Jr., 21, Sun Valley Circle Building 19, Apt. 1, was arrested and charged with criminal mischief, operating after suspension, failure to stop for an officer, driving to endanger and failure to submit to arrest or detention.

After failing to post $500 cash bail, Ingham was taken by officer Brad Gallant to Oxford County Jail in Paris, where he spent the night. Ingham made bail on Wednesday morning.

Police on Wednesday were still awaiting damage estimates, Mexico Police Chief Jim Theriault said.

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He said the incident began at 9:12 p.m. Tuesday when Gallant responded to a complaint at Sun Valley Circle.

“As he pulled into the drive off Harlow Hill, he saw Ingham operating his girlfriend’s car, and he knew Ingham’s license was suspended,” Theriault said.

While checking Ingham’s driving status to be sure, Theriault said sped away in the 1998 Pontiac.

Gallant flipped on his cruiser’s blue lights and tried to clock Ingham’s speed, but it wouldn’t register on the radar.

Theriault described the chase as being less than a mile, down Harlow Hill and back up, before Ingham drove the Pontiac into a driveway, across the yard and onto the deck of an attached garage.

As Gallant pulled in behind the Pontiac, he said he could see Ingham in his headlights crawl out the passenger side door and take off running. Theriault said Gallant chased Ingham into a backyard before losing sight of him and stopping.

“He advised (responding police officers) to slow down and watch for Ingham and called for a wrecker, and while all this was going on, (Ingham’s) girlfriend called saying her vehicle was stolen,” Theriault said.

The girlfriend told Gallant she hadn’t given Ingham permission to take her car. She contacted Ingham by phone, telling him to return to the scene, Theriault said.

After few phone calls, including one with Gallant during which Ingham denied doing the crimes, Ingham returned to the scene on foot and was promptly arrested, Theriault said.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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