LEWISTON  — A local teen arrested after a high-speed police chase that ended in a crash last spring pleaded guilty Tuesday to related charges.

Ronald R. Pittman Androscoggin County Jail photo

Ronald R. Pittman, 18, of 969 Sabattus St. pleaded guilty in 8th District Court to eluding an officer, but will be able to withdraw that plea in a year if he complies with the terms of his agreement. If he’s successful, that felony charge will be dismissed and he will plead instead to a misdemeanor of failure to stop, and will pay a $500 fine.

On a charge of criminal operating under the influence, he will pay a $500 fine, lose his license for 210 days and spend a week in jail. On a misdemeanor charge of operating beyond the restrictions or conditions of his license, he will pay a $250 fine.

If Pittman were to violate the terms of the deal, he agreed to be sentenced on the felony charge to two years in prison, with all but 90 days suspended, plus two years probation. He also will be required to undergo any recommended substance abuse and alcohol counseling. On the charge of drunken driving, he would spend two weeks in jail and pay a $700 fine. And he would pay a $500 fine on the second misdemeanor.

For the next year, Pittman must not use or possess alcohol or illegal drugs for which he can be searched and tested at random, according to the conditions imposed by Judge Rick Lawrence. Pittman also may not be at any place that primarily serves liquor, such as a bar.

He must undergo substance abuse evaluation and counseling, if ordered.

Police said they began to follow the 2009 Ford Focus that Pittman was driving after attempting a traffic stop on East Avenue at about 8:45 p.m. April 24 because he failed to stop at a stop sign and his taillight was out. He refused to pull over and continued driving, reaching speeds of 80 mph and crossing the centerline of the road, Assistant District Attorney J. Scott Davis told the judge.

The car made a right turn, careened over a sidewalk and into the parking lot of Maine Family Credit Union on Sabattus Street, where the car crashed into a vehicle, Davis said.

Pittman was arrested at the scene. He was later indicted by an Androscoggin County grand jury on the three charges.

Davis said police noticed the odor of alcohol on Pittman. His blood alcohol concentration tested at 0.2%, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08%.

He had two passengers, one who was under 21 years old, which violated restrictions on his license.


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