FARMINGTON — A Wilton man was indicted Thursday on a slew of charges stemming from his escape from a police van March 1, according to court records.

Derek Cook, 31, was indicted on felony charges of robbery, escape, burglary, theft by unauthorized taking, eluding an officer and assault on an officer. He was also indicted on misdemeanor charges of assault, criminal mischief, driving to endanger, criminal speed and operating after suspension.

He is in a state prison on a probation violation.

A conviction for robbery is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

According to an affidavit filed with the court by sheriff’s Lt. David St. Laurent, Cpl. Phillip Richards picked up Cook at the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn and was driving him with two other inmates to the Franklin County jail in Farmington.

While on Route 133 in the Jay-Wilton area, Cook repeatedly asked Richards to stop the van to let him go the bathroom and Richards refused, saying he would have to wait until they arrived at the jail.


Cook managed to open the passenger side door and threatened to jump out if Richards did not stop. Richards stopped the van to secure the door when Cook jumped out and headed for the woods, the affidavit states. Richards pursued him and ordered him several times to get back in the van.

Cook refused and the two fought, with Cook shoving Richards down, slamming him into the side of the van and grabbing a handcuff key from Richards’ gun belt, the affidavit states.

After several minutes, Richards got Cook back into the van but could not get the handcuff on him or get the key from him. While Cook continued to try and get out of the van, Richards sprayed Cook with mace and Cook pushed Richards out of the van before running into the woods, according to the affidavit.

Both inmates in the van confirmed Richards’ story, according to the affidavit.

Cook told St. Laurent Richards pulled over so he could go to the bathroom and took one of the handcuffs off him, the affidavit states.

“Cook admitted at that point he did not want to get back in the van and his intention was to escape and tried to convince Richards to just let him go, which Cpl. Richards said no, and they got into a physical altercation outside the van and inside the van and he was able to get away,” according to the affidavit.


Cook told police he took the handcuff key and ran through the woods to a house in Wilton, where he forced his way in, the affidavit states. He told the female inside he was not going to hurt her and just wanted keys to her vehicle. Cook told St. Laurent he took the Jeep and police chased him. He crashed a short time later in Chesterville, the affidavit states.

According to Wilton Police Chief Heidi Wilcox’s affidavit, the female told her a man came running across her porch toward the door. She yelled at him to go away, and told him she was calling police.

She said the man lunged at the front door several times until he was in the house. She ran into her bedroom, closed the door behind her and the man kicked that door open as well. She was able to close the door again and secure it, and was crouched down behind it to protect herself when he knocked the door down on top of her, the affidavit states.

Cook denied chasing the woman through the home. He told police the keys to the Jeep were given to him and he was given permission to use the vehicle, the affidavit states.

Richards was taken to a hospital for treatment of his injuries.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.