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More in News
Man injured after jumping from vehicle
NORWAY — A Norway man who was operating while under the influence of alcohol around 1:30 a.m., September 13, was arrested after the passenger of his truck, also under the influence, jumped from the moving vehicle and struck his head on pavement on Patch Mountain Road, according to Officer James Ventresca of the Norway Police Department.
Douglas P. Hunton, 56, from Norway was charged with OUI, refusing to stop for law enforcement, operating after suspension, operating an unregistered vehicle and refusing to submit to arrest or detention.
Tad Smith, 41, of Lewiston was transported to Stephens Memorial Hospital for a serious head injury, said Norway Police Chief Robert Federico.
He confirmed Friday that Smith has since been transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland.
Smith was under the influence of alcohol during the incident, said Federico. "He certainly paid the price for his mistake of jumping out," he said.
Hunton was also injured, said Federico.
According to Federico, the initial 911 call to Gray dispatch was made by Smith who reported that Hunton had driven off the road and hit his head. The call was made around 1:30 a.m.
"The inside lights [of the truck] weren't working," said Federico. "He didn't know how severe his friend was hurt, so he called 911."
"After he made the call to dispatch, his buddy, Doug, became conscious again and Smith said, 'I called the cops because I thought you were hurt' and he [Hunton] said, 'What? You called the cops?'" said Federico, an indication of how much Hunton and Smith had to drink.
The police report states that a second caller to dispatch reported she heard a male subject yelling and it sounded like he was yelling for help.
In his report about the incident, Norway Police Officer James Ventresca said that, upon his arrival to the area, he could hear the vehicle on Patch Mountain Road.
He then spotted a blue pickup truck, with its plow engaged.
Ventresca said he activated his emergency lights to conduct a stop, but Hunton continued down Patch Mountain Road, "crossing from one side of the roadway to the other."
"I then saw him wave his arm out the window as if to let me pass," Ventresca writes. "I then activated my siren but the driver continued down the Patch Mt. Rd ... waving his arm out the window."
Hunton continued down the road for about one-tenth of a mile, said Ventresca, when Smith opened the passenger door and jumped out. Ventresca said Smith did not move and appeared unconscious.
According the report, the truck was moving at 15 mph. While PACE, which had responded to the initial call and waited for police to bring them in, responded to Smith, Ventresca said he continued after Hunton who picked up his speed to 25 mph.
Ventresca said the truck slowly reduced speed and came to a complete stop on a hill.
Hunton then got out of his truck and approached the police cruiser, said Ventresca. "I yelled at him to stop and identified myself as a police officer ... I continued to tell him to stop as he approached my cruiser," said Ventresca.
"I grabbed his right arm and took him to the ground," said Ventresca, advising Hunton that he was being arrested for failure to stop for a police officer.
Ventresca said he could smell a strong odor of alcohol on Hunton's breath. Hunton, who kept resisting the arrest, then began yelling he knows his rights as a citizen of the U.S. and was invoking his fifth amendment rights, said Ventresca.
Ventresca then conducted a weapon search, he said. Paris Police Officer Harry Sims and Oxford Police Sergeant Rickie Jack assisted.
According to Ventresca, Hunton was bleeding above his right eye, so he requested another PACE unit to conduct a medical evaluation on Hunton.
In the meantime, Smith became out of control in the first PACE ambulance and Jack responded to assist EMTs in controlling Smith. Jack then followed the ambulance to SMH.
Hunton continued to state he knew his rights and began swearing and trying to kick one of the paramedics, said Ventresca. Sims rode in the ambulance to keep Hunton under control.
While at SMH, Hunton refused to do a blood test, Ventresca said. He was then transported to Oxford County Jail where he remains.
According to Federico, Hunton's vehicle hasn't been registered in years.
Hunton is not to use or possess alcohol and is subject to search and test, according to the police report.
He is set to appear in court on November 15 at 10:30 a.m.