RUMFORD — A Mexico man with a suspended license is facing felony charges after his car struck a police officer during a vehicle chase Tuesday night, Rumford Police Chief Tony Milligan said.

Joshua R. Billings Rumford Police Department photo

Joshua R. Billings, 26, was arrested at his home on Ledgeview Drive after family members contacted police to advise he was hiding there. He was taken to the Oxford County Jail in Paris and booked on charges of aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, driving to endanger, refusing to stop/eluding a police officer, criminal speed/exceeding posted limit by 30 mph or more, and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked license, the chief said in a news release.

Cpl. Lawrence Winson, who suffered an injury to his hand in the incident, was treated at Rumford Hospital and released, Milligan said.

The pursuit began about 8:30 p.m. when Winson was parked on Franklin Street monitoring traffic and saw a silver sports car speed past, the chief said. The 2008 Hyundai Tiburon, which police later determined was driven by Billings, went through a blind intersection on the wrong side of the road. Winson activated his lights and siren, attempting to stop the vehicle, but Billings continued driving on the wrong side of the road and going through stop signs.

The pursuit continued to Flood Street in Mexico, where Billings pulled into a driveway and shut off his lights. As Winson got out of his cruiser and approached the vehicle to order Billings to get out, Billings revved the engine. Winson pounded on the driver’s side window and ordered Billings to stop, but he backed the car up, striking Winson’s right hand and knocking him to the ground. When Winson saw the car coming at him, he feared he was about to be run over and rolled out of the way, Milligan said.

Billings sped away with his lights still off, the chief said.

About an hour later, Billings’ family members notified police he was hiding at his residence and assisted police in arranging for him to turn himself in at the Rumford Police Department, Milligan said.

Billings appeared in court remotely from the jail Wednesday afternoon and was released on personal recognizance with a supervised release agreement.

Milligan commended Billings’ family and area residents who assisted police in tracking Billings down to prevent others from being hurt.

“Both the officer involved and the suspect are very lucky that this incident did not result in more serious injuries or death,” Milligan said.

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