Police chase suspect into Poland woods


POLAND — Police from three departments searched Wednesday night for a man who ran into the woods when they went to a Mechanic Falls Road home to arrest him.

By nightfall, police said Mark Childs, 42, remained at large after eluding police and a tracking dog by running through the woods and through a swamp.

Police believe Childs jumped into a silver car that stopped for him at about 7 p.m. after police had been chasing him for about an hour.

Police wanted Childs on a charge of violating conditions of release from jail. But after Wednesday night, Childs had an additional charge of refusing to submit to arrest.

On Jan. 29, Childs was arrested on a charge of domestic assault, accused of assaulting someone in his home at 171 Mechanic Falls Road.

Childs has since pleaded not guilty to the charge but he was ordered to stay away from that address while the case is pending. He has been living on Lewiston Street in Poland after being ordered out of his home, police said.

On Wednesday night, police got a tip that he was at his home in violation of conditions set when he was released from jail. Police went over to check out that tip.

“When we went to introduce ourselves, he ran off into the woods,” said Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Sgt. Rielly Bryant.

Sheriff’s officials were joined by Maine State Police and officers from the Mechanic Falls Police Department as they searched for Childs in the woods.

Police used a tracking dog as they searched for Childs, who Bryant said ran directly through a swamp in his bid to evade capture.

“He’s definitely wet,” Bryant said. “We also found some of the clothes he had taken off.”

Police said a resident in the area told them that Childs was seen climbing into a silver car at about 7 p.m. It was unknown who was driving the car.

The search for Childs was continuing later Wednesday night. Anyone who helps to hide the suspect, Bryant said, could be charged with hindering apprehension.

“His family has been warned not to give him a place to stay,” Bryant said.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 784-7361.