SOUTH PARIS — A Peru man led police on a high-speed chase this week, running several vehicles off the road before he crashed, police said.

Jesse R. Arsenault, 35, of Peru appears in Rumford District Court by videoconference Wednesday from Oxford County Jail in Paris on a string of charges stemming from a police pursuit Tuesday. Christopher Williams screenshot

Jesse R. Arsenault, 35, appeared Wednesday in Rumford District Court by videoconference from Oxford County Jail. A judge set his bail at $5,000 cash on eight charges stemming from the chase.

But, Judge Tammy Ham-Thompson also ordered Arsenault be held without bail pending hearings to revoke his bail in two earlier criminal cases.

Maine State Police Trooper Nicholas L. Young wrote in an affidavit that he noticed the gray pickup truck Arsenault was driving through Andover at about 2:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Young had received complaints about a truck matching that description being operated by someone who appeared to be impaired, he wrote.

The truck left at a high rate of speed, which Young clocked at 82 mph in a 30 mph zone, he wrote. Young noticed the truck crossing the street’s centerline, suggesting the driver was impaired. He pursued the truck with lights and siren, eventually reaching speeds of 112 mph, but was barely able to keep the truck in view, according to his affidavit.


“I saw the vehicle weave on both sides of the road and, at one point, cause three vehicles to leave the roadway,” Young wrote.

At the point where Elm Street turns into East Andover Road at a bridge, Young wrote that he noticed skid marks and a cloud of dust. Believing the truck may have crashed, he peered through the dust and noticed the truck off the right side of the road, its driver climbing out.

A utility pole had been cracked by the impact, a guy wire snapped and an electrical wire downed, Young wrote. A street sign had been struck and pulled from the ground, he wrote.

Police found open beer cans in the truck, puddles on the floor and a strong odor of alcohol in the truck, he wrote.

Young handcuffed the driver, who identified himself as Arsenault.

“I smelled the extremely overwhelming odor of intoxicating liquor on his breath,” Young wrote. “Arsenault was slurring his words and his eyes were extremely glassy and bloodshot.”


Asked whether he had any injuries or needed medical attention, Arsenault told Young he hadn’t.

After asking several times to use his phone to call his lawyer, he told Young he was “just scared, made a mistake and that this was the worst possible timing,” Young wrote.

He found the drivers of the vehicles that had been forced off the road by the truck and they wrote witness statements, Young wrote in his affidavit.

When Young was away from his cruiser, he was told that Arsenault, who had been placed in the front passenger seat, had unbuckled his seat belt, found his phone in the cruiser’s front seat and had called his mother.

“He told her he f—ed up real bad and was going to jail,” Young wrote.

Arsenault repeatedly unbuckled his seat belt and slipped his hand out of his cuffs to try to use his phone. His legs were eventually shackled, Young wrote.


During the drive to Oxford County Jail, Arsenault began yelling and moving in his seat. He unbuckled his seat belt and was trying repeatedly to slip out of his leg restraints, Young wrote.

Arsenault yelled when Young tried to speak on his police radio. He smashed the police laptop computer stand and kicked the cruiser’s console, Young wrote.

He later learned that Arsenault’s actions had disabled the police radio system in Young’s cruiser.

At the jail, Young asked Arsenault if he would take a breath test for alcohol consumption. Arsenault wouldn’t answer, Young wrote.

Arsenault was charged with eluding an officer, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and aggravated criminal mischief, each felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

He also was charged with the following misdemeanors: criminal operating under the influence; driving to endanger; criminal speed; failure to stop for an officer; criminal mischief; and violation of condition of release.


At Arsenault’s court hearing Wednesday, prosecutors said he had a criminal history that included convictions for theft, burglary and operating under the influence, and probation violations.

Defense attorney Maurice Porter told the judge Arsenault suffered a concussion, neck and spine injuries and a broken hand that had not received medical attention.

“He needs to get to a hospital,” Porter said.

Arsenault also had a child custody hearing scheduled for Thursday.

“Jail is the last place he needs to be,” Porter said.

“How do I look at these allegations, look at his criminal history and not have concern over the safety of the public?” Judge Ham-Thompson asked Porter.


He told the judge that Arsenault could be placed on house arrest.

Assistant District Attorney Richard Beauchesne said Arsenault’s conduct during his transport to jail suggests he could not be trusted to comply with house arrest.

“If these allegations are to be believed, I think it would be an unacceptable risk given the severity of these charges to leave that in Mr. Arsenault’s hands and expect him to do it,” Beauchesne said.

The judge set bail at $5,000 cash with the condition that Arsenault be prohibited from having alcohol, for which he can be searched and tested if he’s suspected of having it or having consumed it.

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