LEWISTON — A local man who led police on a car chase through the city’s downtown before crashing last year has pleaded guilty to related charges.
Manny Souza, 46, of 194 Bates St. was sentenced to 30 months, with all of that time suspended except for the 53 days he already served in Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn.
He pleaded guilty in 8th District Court to eluding an officer, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to operating after suspension and violation of conditions of release. On the first misdemeanor charge he was fined $500; on the second, he was sentenced to the same 53 days in jail as the felony count, time he has already served.
He will remain on probation for a year. During that time, he won’t be allowed to operate a motor vehicle.
Charges of driving to endanger and failure to stop for an officer were dismissed by prosecutors.
Police said Souza was driving a Volkswagen sedan on Webster Street on the morning of April 13, 2016.
Officer Joey Brown wrote in a report filed in court that he recognized Souza from recent charges of driving after suspension. Brown switched on his cruiser’s blue lights and followed Souza to an intersection.
Rather than stopping for Brown, Souza turned and drove the wrong way down Pine Street. Brown activated his siren, but Souza continued down Pine Street and turned onto Jefferson Street, exceeding the speed limit by about 10 mph, Brown wrote.
Souza continued through downtown Lewiston, failing to signal turns and stop at stop signs and red lights. Back on Pine Street, he traveled at twice the posted speed of 25 mph, Brown wrote. Souza turned onto Webster Street without signaling or stopping at a stop sign.
He approached the intersection of Sabattus and Bradley Streets “at a high rate of speed, lost control of the vehicle” and struck the curb on Bradley Street, disabling the car.
Brown said he handcuffed Souza as soon as he stepped out of the car. Souza apologized repeatedly for “causing problems,” Brown wrote.