Appleton man held without bail after high-speed chase

By Juliette Laaka | Jun 12, 2014
Photo by: Knox County Jail Claire Mitchell is wanted for numerous charges after he led police on a high sped chase in Union and fled the scene of the crash. This photo is from a February booking.

Union — An Appleton man on the run from police following a high-speed car chase was apprehended June 11.

Claire Mitchell, 35, was involved in a high speed chase June 7 with police in tow until the truck crashed into a ditch in Union, and Mitchell fled the scene, according to a press release from Knox County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Tim Carroll.

At his arraignment June 13, Judge Susan Sparaco ordered Mitchell remain in custody as a motion to revoke post-conviction bail was filed. On the new charges, bail was set at $2,500 cash.

A female passenger in the truck was not injured, but she told police she was afraid she was going to die, and asked Mitchell repeatedly to stop the truck.

Deputy John L. Palmer of the Knox County Sheriff's Office was notified by dispatch of  an erratic vehicle complaint by Lincoln County Communications. A truck was traveling from side to side in the travel portion of the road, crossing the centerline and almost going into the ditch, according to the release.

Tools and a tackle box were being thrown out of the vehicle.

The person who called in the complaint had damage to their vehicle from debris thrown out of the suspect vehicle.

Palmer located the truck in Union and attempted to stop it in the Maritime Farms parking lot. As he approached the driver’s side of the truck, the operator sped off. Palmer pursued the vehicle north on Route 131 and then onto the Butler Road.

The truck was traveling at speeds more than 70 miles per hour on winding roads with blind spots and hills, so Palmer decided not to continue the chase. He did keep the truck in view, and came upon it the Butler Road, crashed into a ditch.

Other units were called in to assist the search, as well as K-9 teams from the Maine State Police. After an extensive search of the area, law enforcement was unable to locate Mitchell and have now obtained an arrest warrant for him.

Mitchell is facing charges of driving to endanger, criminal speed, eluding an officer, operating after suspension, leaving the scene of property damage crash, violation of conditions of release, and refusing to submit to arrest.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Cathy L Lielausis | Jun 11, 2014 09:28

The truck actually went into a deep ditch on Appleton Ridge Road in Appleton.  It was right in front of my house!  I certainly hope that he is caught.



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Juliette Laaka
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Juliette primarily covers the cops and courts beat for The Courier-Gazette.

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