LEWISTON — A South China man who police said led them on a car and foot chase after fleeing a crash in Auburn on Saturday night appeared in court Tuesday in handcuffs.

Robert Conklin

Robert Conklin Jr., 43, was charged with eight crimes, including eluding an officer, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

He was held at Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn in lieu of $5,000 cash bail. If released, a judge said he must refrain from having alcohol and illegal drugs for which he can be searched at random. He is barred from operating a vehicle and is forbidden from being at Arby’s restaurant.

Eighth District Court Judge John Martin told Conklin he could have no contact with the passenger who was in the car he was driving at the time of his arrest.

In an affidavit, police said a silver Subaru matching the description of the car Conklin was driving was involved in a crash at Arby’s on Center Street in Auburn, then fled the scene.

Officer Andrew Jarman wrote in his sworn statement that he watched the car leave the Auburn Mall and travel southbound on Center Street, “the operation of the vehicle exhibit(ing) signs of an impaired driver.”

He followed the car to the intersection of Center Street and the off-ramp from Mount Auburn Avenue where the car pulled over. As he approached the car’s rear bumper, it took off again.

As police pursued the car, it passed several cars then veered into a northbound lane of Center Street, “narrowly missing one vehicle head-on,” Jarman wrote.

The car continued into downtown Auburn, crossing Court Street. The car spun out while making a right turn, spinning a complete circle, before continuing up Elm Street, fishtailing and slamming into a snowbank at Academy Street. The car traveled down Academy Street before it crashed into another snowbank.

Conklin fled on foot, Jarman wrote.

Conklin had been wanted on an arrest warrant from Kennebec County for two counts of having sexually explicit material of a minor under age 12 and one count of illegal possession of a firearm. His driver’s license had been suspended and he was under bail conditions that included no possession of alcohol.

“The odor of intoxicating beverages was detected coming from Robert, and his frightened passenger stated that Robert had been drinking,” Jarman wrote.

In addition to the felony, Conklin was charged with criminal operating under the influence, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 364 days in jail. The other misdemeanor charges, each punishable by up to six months in jail, include failure to stop for an officer, operating after suspension, leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage and refusing to submit to arrest.

Conklin’s blood/alcohol content was measured at .19 percent, more than twice the legal limit, according to the affidavit.

He didn’t enter any pleas to the eight charges because the felony must be handed up by a grand jury for indictment in order for that charge to go to trial.

Conklin’ next court date is May 23.

In 2011, Conklin was sentenced to five years in prison with all by 30 months suspended, plus two years of probation on charges stemming from a police chase through a construction zone and three municipalities, according to a published report.

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