FARMINGTON — A Wilton man denied Tuesday that he assaulted a deputy, escaped from a jail van, forced his way into a Wilton home and assaulted a resident before stealing her Jeep on March 1, 2016.

Derek Cook, 31, pleaded not guilty in Franklin County Superior Court to 11 charges on which he was indicted in May, including Class A robbery. A conviction on the robbery charge carries a penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Cook has been serving time at a state prison on a probation violation since his arrest.

Cpl. Phillip Richards picked up Cook at the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn on March 1 and was driving him and two other inmates to the Franklin County jail in Farmington, according to an affidavit filed with the court by Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Lt. David St. Laurent.

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, who was wearing leg irons, slipped off one of his handcuffs and used the open handcuff as a ratchet to open the side door, Sheriff Scott Nichols said last year.


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, according to St. Laurent’s affidavit.

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.

Richards was able to get Cook back inside the van and sprayed Cook with mace when he continued to try and get out of the van. Cook pushed Richards out of the van and ran into the woods.

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

Cook was taken into custody a short while later after the Jeep crashed into a tree in Chesterville.

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