LITCHFIELD — A man who allegedly fled from police, then stopped and backed his car up into a Sagadahoc County Sheriff deputy’s cruiser and flailed a knife at a state trooper, was subdued with a stun gun and arrested on several charges early Saturday morning.

Garred Z. Laughlin, 28, of New Gloucester, surrendered only after being hit with a jolt from a Taser, or stun gun, and now faces charges of operating under the influence, eluding an officer, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, criminal mischief, and refusing to submit to arrest or detention, according to Sagadahoc County Sheriff Joel Merry, who said there could also be additional charges.

Merry praised Deputy Zac Kindelan and Maine State Police Trooper Tyler Harrington, both of whom, after Laughlin allegedly lashed at Harrington with a 6-inch hunting knife, drew their weapons guns. Merry said Kindelan then pulled out his stun gun, warning Laughlin he would use it on him if he did not surrender, then deployed it. Laughlin then gave up and was removed from his vehicle and handcuffed.

“I believe both the trooper and deputy used extreme constraint here, on a potential deadly force encounter,” Merry said Saturday. “They worked to utilize a less lethal resource and it worked, and worked well. And everybody goes home.”

Laughlin, after being checked out by Gardiner Ambulance Service, was arrested and taken to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset.

The encounter began around 1:45 a.m. Saturday after Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a vehicle involved in an accident and leaving the scene, and the driver potentially operating under the influence. Merry did not have details of the apparent prior accident Saturday.


Kindelan saw a vehicle at Exit 43 Quik Stop on Route 197 in Richmond that appeared as if it could have been the one in the accident. When he went to confront the driver, the driver fled toward Litchfield on Route 197.

The driver, Laughlin, refused to stop for the deputy and continued into Litchfield. Laughlin stopped near Academy Road, then backed his 2014 Subaru Legacy into Kindelan’s cruiser, but did not drive off, staying there, Merry said. By then Harrington arrived and parked, blocking Laughlin’s vehicle between the two cruisers.

Laughlin reportedly refused the officers’ commands to get out of the vehicle. The officers broke the driver’s side window and Harrington tried to pull him out of the vehicle, at which point, Merry said, Laughlin grabbed a 6-inch hunting knife and “flailed it at Trooper Harrington.”

Merry said Harrington then disengaged and backed off, and both officers drew their weapons, before Kindelan used his Taser.

Merry said Kindelan suffered minor cuts to his hand and was treated at the scene. The sheriff’s canine, Hero, also suffered a laceration to his tail, apparently from the broken window. The dog was taken to a veterinarian for treatment and Merry said the dog is OK.

Kindelan’s cruiser sustained damage from Laughlin backing into it, but remained operable, Merry said.

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