An Oakland man arrested after police said he drove into a woman in a wheelchair and a police officer following last year’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration in Winslow pleaded no contest Monday to charges related to that incident.

Daryl Emery Pratt, 80, pleaded no contest at the Capital Judicial Center to two charges of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon (a car) and was placed on deferred disposition for two years with conditions that included surrendering his driver’s license so he will not drive during that period. He also pleaded no contest to three counts of assault.

The prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Tracy DeVol, described the plea agreement to Justice Donald Marden. She said that if the deferred disposition is successful, Pratt will be permitted to withdraw his pleas to the two reckless conduct charges, and they will be dismissed. He would then be fined on each of the assault charges.

If the deferral is not successful, then Pratt would be sentenced on the felony charges, which each carry maximum penalties of five years in prison.

DeVol said Pratt’s vehicle hit the woman’s wheelchair as he was leaving the fireworks display that evening. DeVol said the wheelchair was scratched, but the woman was not injured. The incident occurred July 4, 2015, on the Sebasticook Bridge in Winslow.

Pratt said he did not understand how his vehicle struck the headrest of the woman’s wheelchair without hitting the handlebars first.


Pratt’s attorney, Justin Andrus, told the judge that Pratt maintains he accidentally struck the police officer with his vehicle. However, Andrus said Pratt understood that a jury watching various videos of the incident could conclude it was deliberate.

Pratt said he had stopped driving prior to the arrival of police officers.

“I did stop, your honor, before the police were even there,” he said. “I headed back to see what was going on.”

He also told the judge that one of the officers punched him in the chest.

“I don’t know how I done it,” Pratt said. “At the time this happened, they should not have let cars and pedestrians go after the fireworks all at one time.”

Andrus said Pratt remains upset about the incident.


“In the aftermath, officers caused a serious break in Mr. Pratt’s arm,” Andrus said. Pratt had his right arm in a sling as he stood next to his attorney in court and entered the pleas.

“I suspect the officers weren’t too pleased when they saw a person drive into a person in a wheelchair,” Marden said.

A third charge of reckless conduct was dismissed in exchange for the pleas to the other charges.

During the two-year deferral period, Pratt will be required to do 50 hours of community service. Marden struck out an alternative that called for Pratt to donate $500 to a charity.

“The criminal justice system is not in the business of raising funds for nonprofits,” Marden said.

Both DeVol and Andrus told the judge that there was no indication that Pratt was under the influence of intoxicants.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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