LIVERMORE FALLS — Police arrested a Hartford mother Tuesday night after she led them on a 17-mile, slow-speed chase with children in her car.

Karen Sawyer, 31, of 103 Church St. was arrested by the Livermore Falls Police Department and charged with refusing to stop for an officer, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and three counts of endangering children. She led police officers from Livermore Falls and Jay on a half-hour chase to Hartford, nearly to her home.

Lt. Tom Gould of the Livermore Falls Police Department reported that the chase began at 6:45 p.m. when officer Joe Sage responded to a report of a woman falling asleep in her parked car with three young children in it. Sawyer’s vehicle was found in the Cumberland Farms parking lot on Main Street. Gould said that when Sage asked Sawyer about the smell of marijuana coming from her vehicle, she pulled out of the parking lot and headed south on Route 4.

Gould said Sage attempted to pull Sawyer over and followed her with his lights and siren running, but she refused to pull over.

“She didn’t try to get away,” Gould said. “She was driving normal and just refused to stop.”

Gould said that officers from Livermore Falls were joined by officers from the Jay Police Department. Sawyer finally stopped a short distance from her home at a road block set up by Maine State Police and the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office. Sawyer was taken to the Androscoggin County Jail; her children were released to a relative.

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