A Vassalboro man is facing a host of charges after allegedly hitting his wife and causing minor damage to a police cruiser before leading deputies on a high-speed chase.

Matthew H. Bechard, 40, was arrested Wednesday afternoon on charges of domestic violence assault, criminal speeding — 30 mph or more over the posted speed limit — refusing to submit to arrest or detention, eluding an officer and driving to endanger. Bechard, who is being held without bail at the Kennebec County jail, is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Friday.

Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to Bechard’s home at 340 Dunham Road around 4 p.m. Wednesday after he allegedly struck his wife, a 45-year-old woman.

“She suffered significant facial injuries,” said Chief Deputy Ryan Reardon, of the sheriff’s office.

Bechard had left by the time his mother, Diane Bechard, called police, but he returned to the home before deputies arrived, Reardon said. Bechard’s mother, who described her son as suicidal and homicidal, said he probably had broken his wife’s nose in the attack, Reardon said.

Matthew Bechard was sitting in his vehicle, a 2010 Nissan Xterra, when deputies arrived. When they tried to confront Bechard, he sped away and began to “drive around erratically” on the property, Reardon said.

Bechard then sped away from the property, and on the way he hit Deputy Matthew Cain’s cruiser. The impact caused minor damage that Reardon described as chipped paint.

“I don’t think that was intentional,” Reardon said.

Bechard took Dunham Road to U.S. Route 201, where he headed south toward Augusta. Cain and Sgt. Galen Estes, of the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, pursued Bechard as speeds exceeded 100 mph, Reardon said. The speed limit in the area is 55 mph.

The pursuit lasted about a mile before Bechard pulled over near the Vassalboro Fire Department’s Riverside Station on U.S. Route 201, where deputies had prepared a spike mat to lay across the road. Bechard continued to resist when deputies tried to get him out of the vehicle and take him into custody, Reardon said. Deputies eventually restrained Bechard, and he was arrested.

Reardon said incidents of domestic violence continue to increase in Kennebec County, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the bookings at the jail in 2014. He said his office is committed to a “swift and decisive” response to each complaint. He said his office is working with outside agencies, such as the Family Violence Project and the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office, to prevent and respond to incidents of domestic violence.

“It’s important that the victims be protected, not only at the report of such an incident, but well after the suspect is arrested and prosecuted,” Reardon said. “We will continue to work with our stakeholders … to bring these crimes into the light of day and protect the victims.”

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.