BYRON – A Farmington man whom police consider to be armed and dangerous remained at large in the Byron woods with his girlfriend and pre-teen son Friday night following a police chase on Route 17.

Maine State Police Trooper Paul Casey described Kirk Hamel, 36, as being 5 feet, 11 inches tall, 185 pounds, with blue eyes, short blond hair and a mustache. Casey identified the girlfriend as Angela Ames, who is in her 30s, stands 5 feet, 3 inches tall, weighs 115 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes.

“I’d consider him armed and dangerous,” Casey said after a police and tracking dog search on a dead-end gravel road on the left of Route 17 north about two miles north of Coos Canyon.

“He’s a dangerous individual. I encourage people here not to answer their door, but to call 911 if a man, small woman and young boy show up on their doorstep,” he said.

Shortly after gathering information from drivers involved in a traffic accident on Route 17 at the Roxbury town office, Casey said he clocked Hamel driving a green Jeep 74 mph in a 50 mph zone past the town office and pulled him over.

“I went up to the car and smelled an odor of marijuana inside and got him out with the intent to search the vehicle. While I asked for more (officers), he got back in and took off,” Casey said.

Speeds reached 90 mph during the chase north, before Hamel ducked the Jeep into the woods-enshrouded gravel road.

Due to several washouts on the road, Casey did not pursue the Jeep but parked his cruiser beside Route 17, blocking access to the gravel road. He then waited for other officers to arrive.

Help included Franklin County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steven Lowell, Deputy David Radcliffe and his tracking dog, state police Sgt. Vicki Gardiner from the Skowhegan barracks, and Oxford County Sheriff’s Deputy Joshua Wyman.

As darkness settled and a steady rain fell harder by 6:35 p.m., the four men drove in on the road in two 4-wheel-drive cruisers, while Gardiner kept watch along the highway.

About a mile in on the road that dead-ends on the east flank of Pleasant Mountain, the officers found the Jeep and called for a tow truck to impound it.

Using Radcliffe’s dog, a foot search ensued but was unsuccessful. However, the dog did detect illegal substances on the vehicle

“If anyone knows the whereabouts of Hamel, please call state police at 800-228-0857,” Casey said.

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