Arrest of Drunk Driving Suspect Leads to Melee

ELLSWORTH — An attempted stop of a suspected drunk driver on Birch Avenue early Saturday morning resulted in a melee that woke up the neighbors.

The motorist’s vehicle, which was carrying a pitbull, came to rest in a flowerbed at a local residence.

Police used a Taser on the motorist at least four times before he was subdued enough to be handcuffed.

“He put up quite a fight,” said Lt. Harold Page.

Jeremy Fowler
Jeremy Fowler
The motorist, Jeremy Fowler, 32, of Utah, had a 1998 warrant for his arrest stemming from Portland District Court, Page said. The warrant sought to revoke Fowler’s probation.

The incident began when Sgt. Kelvin Mote tried to stop Fowler, who allegedly was operating his motor vehicle erratically.

The Ellsworth Police Department had been conducting an OUI checkpoint nearby.

Page said the sergeant tried to stop the man at Birch Avenue and School Street, but he drove off and crossed Oak Street and wound up around the back of Birch Avenue.

Fowler pulled into the flowerbed at 74 Birch Ave. and ran off, Page said.

Page said Officer Chad Wilmot tried to shoot Fowler with the Taser, but Fowler was running and when a suspect is running, the Taser cartridges don’t always stick to the suspect.

Fowler was shot again with a Taser before finally officers used the Taser in stun gun mode to get him subdued.

The resident who unwittingly hosted the fleeing suspect is Marc Blanchette.

Blanchette said the police knocked on his door to explain why there were four police cruisers on his property and another vehicle in his flowerbed.

Another neighbor, Will Stephenson, who lives at 62 Spring St., was woken by yelling.

“Well, I heard the yelling then I heard a bang like someone was hitting the entrance to my door,” Stephenson said. “Then I saw the police cars zoom up and swing into Jeff King’s lot. Then I saw the flashlights. Then I heard someone yell, ‘He’s here.’”

Stephenson said he watched from the window because had he dared to step outside, he would have been right in the spotlights from the cruisers.

Fowler was arrested on charges of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant, driving to endanger, eluding police officers and resisting arrest.

Fowler was initially taken to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital for a blood test to determine his blood alcohol level before being taken to the jail.

Fowler was released from the Hancock County Jail Wednesday morning.

For more of the latest news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.


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