FARMINGTON — A 76-year-old man faces several charges after police said he led them on a high-speed chase in his minivan Wednesday afternoon.

The man, Robert F. Mason, reached speeds of about 95 mph, narrowly avoided hitting two cars, swerved around traffic at a stop light, cut across a lawn and nearly hit a police cruiser as he headed toward the University of Maine at Farmington campus, according to Farmington Police Officer William Tanner.

Police discontinued the chase and later arrested Mason at his son’s home.

Family members told police he had not been taking medication for mental and health conditions, Tanner said.

The chase began when Mason’s minivan was clocked on radar driving 70 mph, which is 30 mph above the limit, around 4 p.m. headed west on U.S. Route 2. He then attempted to pull into the Farmington Ford dealership to hide from a police cruiser, Tanner said.

Mason sped away when the police cruiser, which had its siren and lights on, pulled into the dealership. During the chase he narrowly missed hitting two cars on the road, Tanner said.


Mason drove northeast toward downtown Farmington and stopped briefly before swerving around traffic at a stop light. He turned right onto Farmington Falls Road, where the chase reached speeds of about 95 mph, before Mason slowed significantly and turned left onto High Street, Tanner said.

Another cruiser had joined the pursuit at this point. Mason turned onto a side road and pulled into a driveway at his son’s house, where he drove across the lawn and nearly hit one of the cruisers before driving off toward the UMF campus, Tanner said.

The police cruisers discontinued the chase and spoke with Mason’s wife and family members, who agreed to call 911 to report when Mason returned home. He was arrested a short time later at his son’s house.

Mason was taken to Franklin Memorial Hospital in Farmington, where he refused to be evaluated by doctors, which was a requirement to have him admitted to the Maine VA Healthcare Systems at Togus, where he is a patient, Tanner said.

Mason was then taken to Franklin County Detention Center in Farmington. He was charged with eluding an officer and criminal speed.

Tanner said Thursday that he planned to meet with the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office to discuss the conditions of releasing Mason, the status of his license and details about future court dates.

David Robinson — 861-9287

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