WATERVILLE — A Vassalboro man who reportedly led a Belfast police officer on a chase at speeds reaching more than 120 mph was arrested by Waterville police and returned to Belfast Thursday.

Levi Mason, 38, was arrested without incident at 4:20 p.m. Thursday on Kennedy Memorial Drive after Waterville police got word that he was in the area and wanted on a warrant out of Belfast, according to Waterville Deputy police Chief Bill Bonney.

Police were told that Mason was armed with a 12-gauge shotgun and a .22-caliber pistol and had made statements about “hurting anyone who had wronged him” and that he wouldn’t be caught without a fight, Bonney said.

Waterville police stopped a taxi on Kennedy Memorial Drive and found Mason inside unarmed, he said.

Belfast police Chief Mike McFadden said Friday in a telephone interview that a Belfast police officer drove to Waterville Thursday and returned Mason, whose last known address was in Vassalboro, to Belfast where he was charged with eluding an officer and aggravated driving to endanger. No booking photo of Mason was available Friday afternoon.

At about 6 p.m. July 29, Belfast police responded to a report of a person driving erratically while heading south on U.S. Route 1 on the east side of town, according to McFadden. The car was described by witnesses at a dark-colored BMW, he said.

The police officer stopped the BMW, called the license plate number in and started to get out of his cruiser when the BMW took off and a pursuit started, McFadden said.

The BMW turned onto Route 141 and reached speeds of more than 120 mph, he said. The officer chased the car about three miles and decided it was too dangerous as the car was passing vehicles on curves and hills in areas where vehicles typically do not pass others and at high rates of speed, according to McFadden.

At one point, the BMW got to a built up area of Swanville near Swan Lake and bystanders motioned to the police officer to show him in which direction the BMW had headed, he said.

Meanwhile, the officer learned the BMW was registered to a Fairfield resident, and Fairfield police contacted the car’s owner, McFadden said. Police then learned Mason had taken the BMW without permission and was not supposed to be driving a regular car as his own vehicle was equipped with an interlock device into which he was required to blow, McFadden said. Mason would not be able to start the car if he measured any blood alcohol content, so he apparently left his own car in Fairfield, he said.

McFadden said Mason presented a dangerous situation and put others’ lives in danger.

“Thank goodness these things don’t happen as much as they used to,” McFadden said. “The volume of traffic, especially this time of year in Maine, is such that this is particularly intolerable, and I guess the thing that impressed me most is the fact that it’s an incredibly helpless feeling for the police officer who just wants nothing more than for the guy to pull over.”

McFadden said Belfast police appreciate the help from Waterville police. He said a temporary warrant had been put out for Mason’s arrest and there was a time limit to the warrant. Waterville police got Mason two hours before it expired.

“A big ‘thank-you’ to Waterville police for getting this guy off the street,” McFadden said.

Madeline St. Amour – 861-9239

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Twitter: @madelinestamour

Amy Calder — 861-9247

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Twitter: @AmyCalder17