NORRIDGEWOCK — A local man was arrested on drunken driving charges Sunday after the vehicle he was driving struck a utility pole, knocking it down onto a police vehicle driven by a Somerset County Sheriff’s Department deputy, according to court records.

John Howland, 37, of Norridgewock, was charged with criminal operating under the influence and operating after license suspension.

Howland had consumed several beers when he drove his Dodge SUV into a utility pole on Walker Road at around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, according to an affidavit written by Trooper Aaron Turcotte of the Maine State Police.

The pole fell onto the back of a police vehicle that was in the area to respond to a report of an erratic vehicle. The officer, who was in the vehicle at the time, was not injured, but about $11,000 worth of damage was done to the Silverado crew cab truck, said Chief Deputy Dale Lancaster of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department.

There was also extensive damage to the Dodge, according to the affidavit, including deployed airbags and a shattered windshield. Howland refused to submit to a blood alcohol test and tried to escape from a police cruiser, according to the affidavit.

The plates on the vehicle were registered to another vehicle — a Jeep belonging to Howland’s wife.

Howland was taken to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan and then to the Somerset County Jail in East Madison, where he remains in custody.

Four officers from the state police, Madison Police Department and sheriff’s department responded, along with the Norridgewock Fire Department, the chief detective for the sheriff’s department and emergency medical responders.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

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