A man accused of leading police on a high-speed chase Sunday in Raymond that ended in a crash that injured four people was ordered held on at least $25,000 bail during his first appearance in court Monday.

Dale Tucker pleaded not guilty to multiple charges in Cumberland County Superior Court in Portland on Monday.

Police allege that Dale H. Tucker, 29, of Casco crashed his 2007 Chevy Cobalt into two other vehicles on Route 302 after losing control while trying to avoid a spike mat that deputies put down to stop him around 12:23 p.m., according to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office.

The chase and crash followed an alleged domestic incident sparked by a dispute between Tucker and a woman with whom he has a child, according to police reports filed in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court.

When police tried to stop Tucker, he fled instead of pulling over.

Tucker is charged with four felonies: domestic violence terrorizing, eluding police, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and driving to endanger.

Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Ackerman said she expects a grand jury to hear the case in January.

Tucker also pleaded not guilty to two misdemeanors – failure to stop and criminal speeding – through his attorney for the day, Andrew Wentworth.

Wentworth entered the not-guilty pleas on Tucker’s behalf. Tucker held his head down for most of the hearing and occasionally shared glances with people in the gallery.

Judge Thomas E. Delahanty II ordered Tucker held on $25,000 cash bail, or $50,000 surety with a host of conditions, including that he have no contact with the woman involved in the domestic situation, that he not return to that woman’s home, and that he submit to random search and testing for alcohol and drugs, which he is prohibited from possessing if he is released on bail.

Wentworth reserved his arguments for bail, meaning Tucker’s attorney will have the right to argue for a different bail amount later.

Warning: Video contains offensive language

In setting bail, Delahanty considered Tucker’s prior criminal record, which, according to Ackerman, includes convictions for domestic violence stalking, violating a protective order and domestic violence assault.

According to police reports filed in court in support of the charges, Tucker left a residence in Casco after getting into some type of dispute with his child’s mother. Police believed he was headed to the home of the child’s grandparents in Windham, and were concerned that the situation would escalate there.

Police began to search for Tucker’s vehicle, a royal-blue Chevy Cobalt, and soon Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Dyar spotted Tucker and tried to stop him.

Tucker at first stopped, rolled his window down and cursed at Dyar before pulling forward. Dyar wrote in a report that he believed Tucker was simply angry and about to pull off into a nearby parking lot.

But instead, he took off through the North Windham Shopping Center, made a loop through a side street and turned onto Tandberg Trail, also known as Route 302, headed west.

Dyar recorded Tucker driving at speeds of up to 100 mph before he broke off the chase, Dyar wrote in a report.

Meanwhile, other deputies were preparing to set up a spike mat along the road ahead.

The crash happened about 3 miles north of where Tucker was first stopped.

Investigators are reconstructing the accident to determine how fast Tucker was driving, said sheriff’s Lt. David Hall.

When officers use a device to end a chase, such as a spike mat, other drivers are supposed to be kept far away from the area to avoid crashes, Hall said. In this instance, everything happened too quickly and there were not enough officers available to do that, he said.

“Usually, when spike mats are deployed, it is rapidly unfolding,” Hall said. “We try to make it as safe as possible. If the suspect just drives over the strips, it is not a problem; if he tries to go around it or take other action, it becomes a problem.

“The spike strips do not cause someone to lose control of their vehicle; they deflate the tires very gradually so they can keep control over the vehicle,” Hall said. “Him crashing was not caused by the spike strips, but was caused by him over-correcting.”

Dramatic cellphone video of the crash, taken by Tyler Bisson of Raymond, shows vehicles lined up on the side of the two-lane road as deputies prepare the spike mat. Tucker’s sedan, speeding north on the busy road, swerves around the right side of the strip, glancing the spikes with its rear left tire.

The vehicle then begins sliding at high speed into the line of cars facing the other direction and slams into Bisson’s truck and another passenger car.

Four people, including Tucker, were injured. None of the injuries was life-threatening, police said.

Tucker’s mother, Sam Riley, 60, of Raymond, said she was angry that police put down the spike mat while there were numerous other people in vehicles parked on the roadside nearby.

“I feel they did a wrong thing by putting those strips down,” Riley said before the court hearing began. “They should have backed off.”

Riley said Tucker was a ward of the state before she adopted him when he was a small child. Her longtime partner, the man who helped raise Tucker, died about two years ago and Tucker has been struggling to cope, Riley said. Despite her criticism of the sheriff’s office, she did not minimize her son’s apparent role in causing the crash, but said her son never wanted to hurt anyone and became distraught when he heard that someone had been hurt.

“I’m not saying he’s not at fault,” Riley said. ” I won’t sugarcoat it.”

When police went to arrest Tucker, he asked police to shoot him, and quipped about the chase.

“It’s not as easy as (in) the video games to get away,” he said, according to a police report. “I thought I could get away.”

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MattByrnePPH

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