A state police cruiser was damaged extensively and two other police vehicles were banged up in a Saturday morning Interstate 95 chase of a teenager in an allegedly stolen pickup truck.

Austin Ashmore, 18, from Orland, was chased by police from two law enforcement agencies for 19 miles as they used a spike mat and a car-bumping technique and finally rammed the truck into the center median before arresting him on seven criminal charges, four of them felonies, police said Thursday.

Ashmore, who at the end of the chase was driving north in the southbound lanes of Interstate 295 south of Augusta, finally was taken into custody when Trooper Jesse Duda rammed the truck into a ditch in the median strip with his cruiser.

Ashmore is charged with eluding a police officer, passing a police roadblock and spike mat, aggravated criminal speed and reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon — the stolen truck — all class C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison. He is charged additionally with driving to endanger, exceeding the speed limit by 30 mph or more and operating without a license.

He remained in Kennebec County jail Thursday awaiting a contract with Maine Pretrial Court for his release, according to a jail intake worker.

Ashmore was driving a 2014 Chevy Silverado reported stolen in Orland, in Hancock County, when he was spotted operating erratically in I-95’s southbound lanes near mile 122 in Sidney, according to Lt. Mark Brooks, commander of state police Troop C barracks in Skowhegan.

Trooper Jesse Duda tried to stop the truck, but it kept going, picking up speed as it went, Brooks said.

Duda and several other law enforcement officers from the Maine State Police and the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office pursued Ashmore at high speeds for about 19 miles through Sidney and Manchester, through Augusta, back onto the interstate and then onto Interstate 295 headed south, Brooks said.

Ashmore swerved toward a trooper on Western Avenue in Augusta and speeds reached 90 mph on the interstate at one point, Brooks said.

Trooper James Leonard used a spike mat to try to slow the truck near the West Gardiner toll booth on the interstate, but police said it kept going.

Ashmore continued south until Trooper Eric Verhille tried to stop him near mile 50 on I-295 by bumping the truck in hopes it would skid and stop. In the a maneuver, an officer steers sharply into the side of the target vehicle — bumping it at a low or moderate speed — which causes the skid, forcing the driver to come to a stop.

In the Ashmore chase, the move was tried twice but didn’t stop Ashmore because the truck’s tires were flat from the spike mats, keeping it from spinning well, Brooks said.

Ashmore accelerated again, traveling north in the southbound lane of I-295, where Duda finally rammed the vehicle into a ditch and Ashmore was taken into custody.

Ashmore was evaluated by medical personnel at the scene and was taken to the Kennebec County jail, where bail was set at $10,000 cash, according to Brooks.

The stolen truck charge will be handled by state police from Troop J in Hancock and Washington counties.

“I’m very happy that no citizens were injured while Mr. Ashmore was eluding the police and traveling the wrong way on the Interstate,” Brooks said. “I’m also very thankful that no troopers were injured during the incident, even though there was damage to three Maine State Police cruisers.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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