WINTHROP — A local man is facing charges after leading police on a high-speed chase that ended when he rammed a Corvette into his partner’s home Wednesday night on Annabessacook Road.

Edwin Munson, 67, is facing a host of charges from both Winthrop and state police, including criminal threatening, criminal mischief, aggravated criminal mischief, terrorizing, assault, eluding a police officer and two counts of failure to stop for law enforcement. At one point, speeds reached 80 mph on U.S. Route 202 in Winthrop, police said.

“More charges could be pending after further case review,” said Lt. Aaron Hayden, of the Maine State Police.

Munson was being held Thursday at the Kennebec County jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

The home at 157 Annabessacook Road, which is owned by Munson’s longtime partner, Pauline Ashcroft, was damaged badly when Munson drove his Corvette into the front of the house at the end of the pursuit.

Winthrop police Capt. Ryan Frost said nobody was inside the home at the time of the crash. Munson was treated by paramedics at the scene for a minor head injury, Frost said. No other injuries were reported in the incident.


The events that led to the ramming of the house began to unfold Wednesday night when troopers were sent to Litchfield in response to a report that Munson was in the driveway of Ashcroft’s son’s house. Munson was screaming threats to burn down the man’s house and shoot him, Hayden said. Munson left in the Corvette when told that police were on their way.

Troopers Seth Allen and Clayton Peckham, who were responding to the complaint, spotted the Corvette on Route 126 in West Gardiner, Hayden said. The troopers stopped the car, but Munson refused to turn off the engine or even put the car in park.

“When Trooper Allen began to make his approach, Munson sped off and the pursuit began,” Hayden said.

The pursuit continued on Route 126 into Gardiner where Gardiner Police had set up a road block. Munson saw the road block and made a U-turn to avoid it, Hayden said.

“Trooper Allen attempted to cut off that route and was rammed by Munson, who also slightly struck Trooper Peckham’s car as it passed by,” Hayden said.

Allen’s cruiser was totaled and Peckham’s cruiser sustained minor front end damage, police said.


“At that point, troopers called off the chase and notified other law enforcement agencies,” said Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.

That alert to other law enforcement went out around 10:30 p.m., Frost said. Winthrop police Sgt. Daniel Cook spotted Munson’s car on Main Street about a half-hour later. Cook followed the Corvette as it entered the Circle K store lot on Main Street. Munson tried to ram Cook’s cruiser, but the officer was able to move the car out of the way before a crash, Frost said.

Munson then took off in the Corvette, fleeing east on Main Street and turning right onto Highland Avenue, Frost said. Munson turned right onto U.S. Route 202 and drove west a short distance before turning left to head south on Annabessacook Road.

Munson drove about a half-mile on Annabessacook Road before entering the driveway of the home he shares with Ashcroft. Munson sped up the driveway, crashing into the side of the building, Frost said.

“Mr. Munson rammed into the home with the car,” Frost said.

The impact left a car-sized hole in the house that a family member said is in the area of the kitchen.


The pursuit, which spanned just a few miles, reached speeds of 80 mph on U.S. Route 202, Frost said.

Munson continued to refuse police orders after the crash, Frost said. Cook, Winthrop police Officer John Hall and a Monmouth police officer used an electronic stun gun and chemical spray to subdue Munson and take him into custody.

“They had trouble getting him out of the vehicle,” Frost said.

Ashcroft’s daughter, Sue Mills, was surveying the home’s damage Thursday morning. She said Munson has lived with her 77-year-old mother for “a really long time.”

Mills said Ashcroft had been at the house earlier in the evening, but Mills’ brother went to get Ashcroft after Munson showed up at his house.

Munson was unaware that Ashcroft was away from home, Mills said.


“I think he thought she was here,” she said. “Where he ran in is the kitchen. Immediately behind that is the bedroom.”

Mills said Munson owns a used car lot and that the Corvette probably is from that lot. It is not a car she has known him to drive before.

Mills, who grew up on an adjacent lot, said Ashcroft has children in the area with whom she can stay while the home is being repaired. Mills was unsure how much it would cost to fix the home, but was confident the house is insured.

“She has been here a number of years,” Mills said.

Munson has gained publicity in recent years for his dispute with the town of Readfield about loose cows wandering onto public roads. In 2013 Munson was ordered to pay $2,500 after Readfield took Munson to court. Munson acknowledged in the judgment that his cattle had wandered from his pastures and either crossed the roads or trespassed on private property, resulting in at least eight violations of the state animal trespass law from Sept. 4, 2012 to May 26.

He subsequently was fined $50 last August for a conviction of animal trespass May 24 in Readfield. That charge came after a car hit one of Munson’s loose cows. The cows were removed later.


Frost said Winthrop officers, too, are familiar with Munson, but he has no criminal history with the town.

“He has been confrontational in the past with law enforcement,” Frost said.

Frost said neither alcohol nor drugs were a factor in Wednesday’s activity. Mills declined to comment on Munson’s mental status. Frost said police and the district attorney’s office are working to determine whether Munson was experiencing a mental health crisis that might have contributed to his actions. McCausland, too, said he was unsure why Munson confronted Ashcroft’s son.

“I don’t know what set him off,” McCausland said. “It was a bizarre series of events.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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