Man wanted on warrant flees out second-floor window

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RUMFORD — A Rumford man wanted on an April 2009 warrant fled from police out a second-floor window and into the woods on Wednesday morning before being captured a half hour later by Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant, police said.

Eli Webber, 57, of 33 Front St. was arrested on a warrant charging failure to appear on charge of operating after habitual offender revocation.

Webber was taken to Oxford County Jail in Paris and released at about 4 p.m. on $250 cash bail. A jail official said it’s unclear if a court date has been set.

Rumford police Cpl. Douglas Maifeld said that at 7:55 a.m. Wednesday, he and Officer Donald Miller went to Webber’s family’s house after Sgt. Tracey Higley received a tip that Webber would be there.

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On Nov. 16, 2009, Maifeld posted Webber’s photo and wanted information on the department’s Web site crime bulletin. He believes someone saw the information and photo either there or when the bulletin was published in local newspapers, and eventually contacted Higley.

“We went to the place before and they’ve denied he was there,” Maifeld said.

This time, Maifeld said he asked to speak directly with Eli Webber. A family member went upstairs to get him and returned saying Webber had gone out a second-floor window.

Maifeld said that from the window, Webber, who had a broken hand, climbed onto the metal roof of a shed and jumped off. Maifeld and Miller then began a foot pursuit, tracking Webber, who ran across Route 2 in front of Sheriff Gallant’s cruiser and onto a snowmobile trail.

Rumford police Chief Stacy Carter and county deputies joined the pursuit, and then Maine State Police troopers brought in tracking dogs. However, before they could use them, Gallant spotted Webber by the Androscoggin River bridge and arrested him, Maifeld said.

Maifeld said Webber wasn’t injured in the pursuit.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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