AUBURN — A Leeds man pleaded not guilty to helping Donald White avoid capture by authorities in connection with a hit and run that left a Turner man in critical condition.

David M. Surette, 19, of Quaker Ridge Road was indicted two weeks ago by an Androscoggin County grand jury with one count of hindering apprehension or prosecution, a felony. He also was charged with theft by extortion and violation of condition of release, both felonies, in connection with the same incident. He was arraigned in Androscoggin County Superior Court last week.

White was charged last month with elevated aggravated assault after he allegedly ran over a 31-year-old man and fled the scene.

Police said White was driving a borrowed pickup truck when he ran over Jason Gagnon in the driveway of the home of Gagnon’s girlfriend last month. White and Gagnon had been fighting shortly before the alleged assault, police said.

White fled the scene after checking on Gagnon and saying, “He’s all right,” police said. White later turned himself in to authorities at Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn.

Police said Surette had known where White was staying while police were looking for him after the hit and run. Surette had collected money for White from a couple who said they were afraid of White, police said. Surette, reportedly White’s cousin, had been living at White’s grandparent’s home on Quaker Ridge Road. Surette denied knowing where White was, but later admitted he had been in contact with him, a violation of Surette’s conditions of release.   

Surette and White were indicted in June on multiple felony counts stemming from an unrelated March 25 incident in Leeds during which police said the two kidnapped, robbed, assaulted and terrorized a man. The victim was allegedly bound with tape and forced into the trunk of White’s car by White and Surette and driven to the victim’s girlfriend’s home where money was stolen, police said in court papers.


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