WATERVILLE — A woman was taken into custody Friday morning after allegedly leading police on a four-mile car chase through the city at speeds ranging from 10 to 70 mph.

Rhonda Graves’ vehicle also bumped two city police cruisers during the chase, causing minor damage, according to police Sgt. Dan Goss.

The chase ended at the Kennebec Sanitary Treatment District on lower Water Street, where police finally stopped the vehicle. Goss said at the scene it was still under investigation. “She’s in custody right now. She’s up at the hospital,” he said

Graves, 36, was taken to Thayer Center for Health on North Street and then transferred to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta. Goss said he could not comment on her medical condition.

Graves was issued a summons charging her with two counts of criminal mischief, criminal speeding, failure to stop for an officer and driving to endanger — all misdemeanors, according to Goss. She is scheduled to appear June 16 in Waterville District Court.

Graves, whose driver’s license shows an Etna address, was reported to be driving erratically on Interstate 95 in a Nissan Rogue sport utility vehicle when a motorist called police at 10:46 a.m., according to Goss. The Nissan left the interstate at exit 130 and Officer Chase Fabian saw it as it passed Governor’s Restaurant on Main Street and tried to stop it, but it kept going, Goss said.

“The suspect continued south on Main and ran two red lights with speeds never exceeding 70 mph; and in residential or high-traffic areas, the speeds were at about 10, and on lower Main, 10 to 20,” Goss said. “Her operation generated three 911 calls, all from separate complainants.”

The Nissan, which went through lights at Post Office Square and at the intersection of Temple and Main streets, continued through the light at Water and Main streets and headed down Water Street, past the Hathaway Creative Center and into the city’s South End, a residential area.

As residents came out of apartment buildings and homes to watch, the Nissan tore past the intersection of Water and Grove streets and past the ball field and the city boat landing, with police cruisers in pursuit. The Nissan continued south along the Kennebec River to the Sanitary Treatment District plant, where the road ends, and Graves had nowhere else to go.

She reversed direction, but Winslow police Officer John Veilleux blocked her car, which then bumped his cruiser, damaging it, Goss said.

“They had to pull her by force out of her vehicle, but it wasn’t a battle, by any means,” Goss said. “She was just passively resisting.”

He said there was minor damage to two cruisers after Graves allegedly intentionally struck them with her car.

As the Nissan was towed from the scene, workers at the Sanitary Treatment District, who had watched the chase, stood by. Dick Vigue, an electrician, said he was working quietly when “all hell broke loose.”

“She went through at a good clip,” Vigue, 65, said of the Nissan. “I didn’t even have time to blink and it was all cruisers. We don’t have this much excitement down here on Water Street. We figured it was drugs or something.”

Laken Thomas, 21, was standing in front of KeyBank on Main Street downtown when she saw police trying to stop the Nissan.

Thomas, a senior architecture major at Keene State College in New Hampshire who’d arrived home Thursday night in Waterville for the summer, said she heard sirens.

“I saw a grayish-silver car pull over,” Thomas said. “I thought she was pulling over to let the cops pass. A cop car whipped around and stopped right in front of her so they were kind of, like, T-boned. Another cop pulled behind her so she was blocked in. The cop in the first car gets out and she maneuvers her car in between them and scoots right by and starts speeding down Main Street. The cop threw his hands up in the air.”

Besides Goss, Veilleux and Fabian, officers converging on the scene at the treatment district included Waterville officers Tim Hinton, Matt Libby and Dan Brown, as well as detectives Duane Cloutier and Dave Caron. Winslow Lt. Josh Veilleux also arrived.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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