AUGUSTA — A Waterville man who led police on a high speed chase last month, then fled to Connecticut, has been extradited to Maine to face charges.

Ernest Almeida, 31, is being held at the Kennebec County jail in Augusta, according to District Attorney Meagan Maloney.

Almeida faces a felony charge of eluding a police officer in a chase May 15 from Waterville to Fairfield and into Skowhegan, where he abandoned his car and escaped into the woods on foot.

He faces additional charges of operating after revocation; driving to endanger; criminal speed; and aggravated operating after revocation as a habitual offender, also a felony.

Maloney said the case could go to a Kennebec County grand jury the second week of July. His next scheduled court date is a July 30 status conference with prosecutors.

The police chase was Almeida’s second incident of attempting to elude police. He led police on a similar chase in May  2008 when speeds reached 110 mph. He later was convicted of several offenses and his sentence included three years in state prison.

In the recent high speed chase, Waterville police reportedly tried to stop Almeida on North Street because the officer suspected him of driving after his license was revoked.

Almeida reportedly refused to stop and police gave chase, but suspended the pursuit due to safety reasons. Almeida next was spotted in his silver 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee in Norridgewock and the chase resumed, reaching 90 mph at times before police again backed off for safety.

Skowhegan police set up a spike mat on Middle Road in that town where Almeida abandoned the vehicle and ran off.

He remained at large for two days before an FBI agent aboard an Amtrak train in Connecticut heard him bragging about being wanted in Maine, and he was arrested.

Almeida waived extradition and was returned to Maine, Maloney said.

Bail was set at $5,000 cash on the Kennebec County charge during his initial appearance in court May 31 in Augusta, but bail is not allowed because of an eluding charge and a probation violation in Somerset County, according to a jail intake worker.

This story will be updated.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367
[email protected]

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