WATERVILLE — A Waterville man was charged with driving to endanger and criminal speed Wednesday evening after he posted videos to Facebook that show the man chasing a motorcyclist through city streets at high rates of speed while at times yelling threats and derogatory slurs.

In three profanity-laced videos chronicling 16 minutes of what police say was a 20-minute chase, Peter Speropolous has the camera pointed at his windshield and directed at a man with short brown hair wearing a tan, sleeveless T-shirt and blue pants and riding a blue Yamaha motorcycle. Speropolous identifies the motorcyclist as Scott Bickford.

In the comments of on police Facebook post, a person using an account belonging to a “Scott Bickford” also identifies himself as the man on the motorcycle.

The videos show Speropolous, 25, driving a 2006 Dodge Durango and following the motorcyclist from the South End, down Front Street, College Avenue and the surrounding area before looping around and heading back in the direction of Main Street.

During that time, Speropolous allegedly drove at varying rates of speed. At one point, he shows the speedometer of his vehicle at 65 mph while on Summer Street, which has a speed limit of 25 mph. He is also seen to run through several stop signs and a red light to keep up with the motorcycle while frequently calling out for Bickford to stop and threatening him with violence.

Around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Speropolous created the posts that contain the videos — which combined have been shared more than 260 times — and wrote, “Scott will meet anyone at any time yeah right I just chased them all around town like the little baby he is he’s got to get his head beat in such a (expletive) saying he’s going to burn my house down and destroy my (stuff) but won’t pull over hahaha just wanted to show everybody the real man Scott is.”

In the comments on his posts, Speropolous says that he got charged for the chase and added that he “was trying to make a citizen’s arrest with his fists.”

Deputy Chief Bill Bonney, of the Waterville police, said police were notified of the chase at 8:12 p.m. Wednesday by a person who came into the police station. No pedestrians who witnessed the chase called police as the situation transpired.

At that time, officers believed there was enough evidence to charge Speropolous with criminal speed and driving to endanger. Speropolous then was located and issued a summons.

In a Facebook message to a Morning Sentinel reporter Thursday afternoon, Speropolous said he took matters into his own hands after Bickford apparently threatened sexual violence against the women in Speropolous’ family. He said Bickford “is the kind of man that you don’t call the cops on because he uses it against you.”

As the video began to circulate, Bonney said the Waterville Police Department’s Facebook page received 17 messages in which residents raised concerns about the video, prompting him to post a statement on the department’s page.

“We would like to thank all of you concerned citizens for reporting the wild chase between two subjects through the city last night. Our officers were right on top of this and made charges of Criminal Speed and Driving to Endanger on the subject who made the Facebook posts documenting the entire chase. This is obviously very dangerous behavior that can’t be tolerated and we appreciate all of your concern!” the statement read.

Some of the most startling moments of the video show Speropolous pulling up next to Bickford on College Avenue, yelling “Let’s go, tough guy. I thought you won’t back down from nobody!” and, as Bickford pulls away, “I’ll beat your (expletive) skull in.”

Later on, at the intersection of Hazelwood and Drummond avenues, as Bickford stops at a stop sign, Speropolous starts to get out of the car, yelling at Bickford to get off his bike. As Bickford pulls away, Speropolous yells, “I’m going to (expletive) hurt you.”

While some commenters asked why Bickford had not been charged with criminal speed, as the video shows him driving at similar speeds, Bonney said the video also showed that Bickford’s actions were potentially out of self-defense.

“The guy in the car can be heard threatening him, so we don’t go and make charges against the guy who is potentially running for his life,” Bonney said.

In regard to Speropolous’ claims of the threats made by Bickford, Bonney said the police do not engage in “Facebook drama.”

“If people come into the station and make a complaint, we will investigate each threat and take each of them seriously,” he said. “We aren’t in the business of investigating what people say on Facebook.”

Bonney said he encourages people to call 911 when they see a chase like the one involving Speropolous and Bickford.

“If you see something outrageous like this, call the police,” he said. “Fortunately, no one was hurt, but I think that’s more out of luck than anything else.”

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @EmilyHigg

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