LEWISTON — Police briefly pursued a vehicle registered in Belfast early Friday morning that ran red lights and stop signs here and in Auburn and sideswiped a police cruiser.

Lt. David St. Pierre said the pursuit began at 2:16 a.m. and ended four minutes later.

Officers attempted to stop the blue 2000 Ford Expedition on Bates Street near College Street, but it sped up, crossed Main Street and continued to the end of Bates Street where it turned around in a parking lot in an effort to evade police.

It continued in the direction of Central Maine Medical Center on Main Street, drove the wrong way down a one-way street, then headed outbound on Main Street, St. Pierre said.

The SUV turned off Main Street, driving the wrong way up an exit ramp off Russell Street where it sideswiped a police cruiser that had pulled over and stopped.

The SUV continued across the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge into Auburn a short way before doubling back over the bridge into Lewiston.

“The pursuit was terminated for safety reasons due to the suspect vehicle’s increasingly excessive speeds on the bridge back into Lewiston,” St. Pierre said.

Officers searched the area for the SUV through the early morning hours, he said.

About 6:20 a.m., a caller reported seeing a vehicle stuck in an off-road area on outer College Street near Merrill Road, St. Pierre said.  Officers investigated and discovered the suspect SUV that had been involved in the pursuit earlier that morning.

The SUV was locked and unoccupied, St. Pierre said.

A tow truck removed it and the incident remains under investigation, he said. The driver has yet to be located and there were no arrests as of late Friday morning.

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