CAMDEN — A 71-year-old Camden man was issued summonses Saturday and taken to a hospital for evaluation after leading police on a wild chase from Northport to Blue Hill, authorities said.

During the chase, the car nearly struck a Belfast police officer. A Searsport police officer fired several rounds from his duty weapon at the tires, disabling the vehicle, and police were finally able to apprehend the man.

The driver, James Thomas, was issued summonses for felony eluding an officer and misdemeanor reckless conduct, according to a news release from the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident began about 8 a.m. Saturday, when the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office was notified that Knox County law enforcement personnel were searching for Thomas, who was believed to be experiencing a severe medical issue. A vehicle description was provided and deputies were told that a family member claimed the man was making irrational and threatening comments before driving away.

At 8:12 a.m., a Waldo County deputy spotted the car traveling north on Route 1 in Northport and tried to stop it. Thomas refused to stop and continued north on Route 1 into Belfast. Officers from the Belfast Police Department and the sheriff’s office were able to momentarily stop the vehicle on two occasions but each time the operator made reckless maneuvers to evade the officers. In the second incident the operator nearly struck a Belfast police officer.

The pursuit continued to Searsport, where an officer unsuccessfully attempted to deploy a tire deflation device. The pursuit continued into Hancock County, where a second tire deflation device was successfully deployed on the vehicle by Bucksport police, but the operator continued to drive with a flat tire.

The pursuit continued into Blue Hill, where the Maine State Police assumed the primary pursuit vehicle role.

Law enforcement personnel were able to get the car stopped momentarily in Blue Hill, but the operator again tried to elude officers. That is when the Searsport officer fired to disable the vehicle.

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