PARIS — For the second time since his Monday arrest, a homeless man who reportedly stole two police vehicles and engaged in a shootout with police wasn’t alert enough to appear in court.

Gary Porter submitted photo

A judge on Friday postponed again the initial court appearance of 37-year-old Gary Porter, who is expected to undergo evaluations for mental competency and to determine whether he suffered from an abnormal condition of mind at the time of his alleged criminal conduct.

Porter’s court-appointed attorney, Justin Leary, said Friday he planned to file a motion seeking those exams.

District Court Judge Peter Malia said Friday he expected to approve Leary’s motion and rescheduled Porter’s initial court appearance to Wednesday on six felony charges.

They include one count of escape and two counts of unauthorized taking, each crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

He also is charged with assault on an officer, eluding an officer and reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, each count punishable by up to five years in prison.


Leary told Malia on Friday he met with Porter that morning and concluded: “I don’t think he’s mentally equipped right now to go forward.”

Malia said the judge presiding over Porter’s initial court appearance Wednesday concluded he “was not able to engage in a meaningful discussion about the charges or about his rights.”

During that appearance, Porter, who appeared by videoconference from jail, had his eyes closed for most of the hearing, mumbled answers and moved his head in and out of the camera frame.

Porter apparently escaped from police custody in handcuffs and a hospital gown Monday and allegedly stole a police vehicle, which he crashed on Route 117.

Next, Porter engaged in a shootout with nearly a dozen law enforcement officers before stealing another police vehicle and crashing it as well, police said.

Porter had been arrested Monday morning on a warrant charging felony theft of two cell phones, a steam cleaner and a portable drill in Norway on Sept. 29, 2023. He also had been charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle, a misdemeanor.


Police had found Porter asleep in a chicken coop in Paris and arrested him for violating conditions of his bail. He was initially taken to a Norway hospital due to health conditions unrelated to the events that occurred later that day.

It was after his transport from the hospital to outside Oxford County Jail’s sally port at about 11:30 a.m. that he apparently escaped custody by moving his cuffed hands from behind him to his front, which enabled him to commandeer Paris Police Chief Michael Dailey’s patrol pickup truck in which Porter had been taken to the jail, according to court papers.

Dailey said he’d put his duty weapon under the driver’s side rear seat of the truck while parked outside the jail. As he walked around the back, he glimpsed Porter in the front passenger seat sliding his cuffed hands from behind him, under his feet to his front, enabling him to climb into the driver’s seat, according to court papers.

Dailey ran to the drivers side of the vehicle and struck Porter in the face as Porter was shifting the truck into gear, he said.

Dailey stood on the running board of the truck as it traveled in reverse down the jail’s driveway before he was thrown to the pavement, according to court records.

Dailey then radioed dispatch to report the stolen patrol truck.

Police deployed spike mats, which disabled the truck and caused Porter to crash. He then stole an Oxford County Sheriff’s Office SUV after he had been shot in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement officers, according to court papers.

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