Oxford police and officers from multiple departments were led on a chase by a Norway fugitive early Friday morning, according to police.

Kenneth Avery Jr. Oxford County Jail

Oxford Police officer Michael Rioux said he initiated pursuit of Kenneth Avery Jr., 36, sometime after midnight when he spotted a truck leaving a Norway apartment complex, earlier the scene of a domestic assault case in which Avery was wanted and Rioux responded.

The truck began picking up speed before Rioux turned his patrol lights on, and by the time the truck’s license plate numbers came back in the name of a deceased person, the chase was already on.

The driver was eventually identified as Kenneth Avery when he called in to dispatch threatening the chase would “turn lethal” if authorities did not stop pursuing him, Rioux said. Rioux had attempted multiple traffic stops by this point.

“I mean, at that point we weren’t going to back off,” Rioux said. “He was clearly a danger to the public and nobody was out on the roads.”


Rioux pursued Avery down Yeaton Swamp Road, called for backup and for spikes to be deployed. Avery was driving recklessly, often exceeding speed limits, but — thankfully, Rioux said — traffic was “mellow,” with only one vehicle passing the chase throughout the entire hour-long ordeal.

Avery attempted to back up into Rioux’s and one other officer’s cruisers and managed to avoid two sets of spikes before a Cumberland County Sheriff’s deputy laid out a third spike mat on Bolsters Mill Road, successfully stopping him around 2 a.m.

“When I finally looked behind me, there had to be 10 cruisers from different departments,” Rioux said. “You almost never see that in Oxford. It was nice seeing all that backup.”

Avery was arrested in a confrontation in which officers used nonlethal force. He was transported to Stephens Memorial Hospital for evaluation before being transported to Oxford County Jail.

In addition to a probation revocation by arrest and a charge of domestic violence assault with priors, Avery now also faces criminal threatening, criminal mischief, eluding an officer, refusing to submit to arrest or detention, passing a roadblock, failing to stop for an officer, driving to endanger and aggravated reckless conduct, according to an Oxford Police Department Facebook post.

Assisting Oxford Police Department were Norway Police Department and the sheriff’s departments of Cumberland and Androscoggin counties.

Jail officials did not respond by press time on bail information.

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