Police seek man who fled in handcuffs

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NORWAY – Police are looking for a man who escaped from a police car while in handcuffs, possibly dropping a bag of marijuana as he bolted into the woods.

A man who was with him didn’t bolt and was charged with trafficking cocaine.

Police on Monday were searching for Robby Brackett, 28, who last lived with his parents in Paris on Hebron Road, according to police.

Police Chief Rob Federico said an arrest warrant would be issued and pictures of Brackett would be put up around town.

On Saturday morning, Office Dana Wessling caught up with Brackett and Blaine Groetzinger, 23, of Paris after being told they had been fighting earlier and might be driving around drunk.

Wessling saw them as the two men pulled into a driveway at 85 Rye Knoff Drive. They were both shirtless and each had bruises and abrasions on their bodies, although Brackett denied being in a fight.

According to a police report, Wessling put Brackett in handcuffs and then searched him, finding $1,400 in cash in his back pocket. After Wessling put Brackett in his police car, Brackett asked Wessling to roll down the window, but the officer refused, the chief said.

While Wessling was asking the owner of the house if she knew the men – she claimed not to – she suddenly screamed, “He’s running, he’s running!”

“I turned to see Brackett, with his hands cuffed behind his back, running into the woods,” Wessling wrote in a report of the incident.

Federico said Brackett escaped either through the window, which he may have opened by pressing the electric button, or someone helped him out of the car. The cruiser cannot be opened from the inside, and the door was not malfunctioning, he said.

After handcuffing Groetzinger and putting him in the cruiser, Wessling searched the red Chevy pick-up the men had been in and found a small digital scale covered in white power. Two open beer cans with cold beer in them were also found.

Wessling also found a zip-lock bag filled with chunky, hard powder that later tested positive as cocaine, according to the report. The report also says a bag of marijuana was found under the truck seat.

When a state trooper tracked the woods where Brackett was last seen, he found a bag of marijuana that looked similar to the bags in the truck.

Groetzinger was taken to the Oxford County Jail and charged with trafficking more than 14 grams of cocaine. He was released on personal recognizance Monday after his first appearance at Superior Court.

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