Joshua Elliott, seen in the passenger seat, is being taken away in a police cruiser Thursday after reportedly leading authorities on a car chase that ended with an hourslong armed standoff. Taylor Abbott/Morning Sentinel file

CLINTON — An affidavit reveals more details of a high-speed chase leading to the arrest of a man who now faces several charges from three different counties.

Joshua Elliott, 40, of Clinton, remains in custody after he reportedly led police on a chase that ended in an armed, hourslong standoff on East River Road in Clinton on Thursday. Police had been seeking Elliott prior to Thursday’s chase to serve him warrants on theft and burglary charges from Piscataquis County. He also faces charges of theft, burglary and violating conditions of release from Somerset County following a Feb. 1 incident.

The affidavit, filed by Clinton police Officer James Leathers, details the events that led to the arrest of Elliott, who faces charges from Kennebec, Somerset and Piscataquis.

The document says that the officer went to an apartment that belonged to Elliott’s girlfriend in Clinton for a warrant check. When nobody answered the door, the officer noticed a vehicle in the driveway, a black Toyota Tundra. After driving by the home a second time later on in the morning, the officer observed that the vehicle was no longer there.

The Tundra was later spotted on Hinckley Road, around 9:30 a.m., the officer said, with false plates attached, owned by Elliott’s girlfriend. The vehicle then turned onto Interstate 95 at mile marker 138, traveling southbound at about 85 mph. When the officer was able to confirm that it was the same vehicle from earlier in the day, an attempt was made to stop the vehicle as it was exiting the Interstate at mile marker 133, which then continued onto U.S. Route 201 in Fairfield.

Elliott allegedly traveled north on Route 201 at a high speed and eventually went across Hinckley Bridge into Clinton. The officer verified the operator was Elliott and continued to pursue the vehicle with emergency lights and sirens on.


“Elliott took several side and (back) roads in an attempt to lose contact with me,” Leathers wrote in the document. “Throughout the chase the vehicle did not stop at intersections and at times traveled at a high rate of speed up, to approximately 100 mph.”

Because the pursuit was on back roads and not heading into population centers, Clinton Police Chief Rusty Bell said last week that the decision was made to continue the chase. Because they had been looking for Elliott for weeks and knew he was avoiding police, Bell said that officers were not confident they would be able to find him and arrest him, “so that’s why we chose to pursue him.”

“At no point was he headed into a population center, and that was our justification for continuing to pursue him,” Bell said on Friday.

Spike strips were set up by Fairfield Police near the intersection of Canaan Road and River Road, but the attempt to deploy them was not successful. The pursuit eventually ended up on Peavey Road in Clinton, and Officer Roger Smith of the Clinton Police set up spike strips, successfully deflating two of the tires on the truck.

The truck  police say was involved in a high-speed chase Thursday is towed after officers were able to stop the vehicle with a spike mat in Clinton. An hourslong standoff ensued before police eventually arrested Joshua Elliott. Taylor Abbott/Morning Sentinel file

Elliott then continued down Peavey Road, then to River Road and then back toward Route 23 (Canaan Road). A Fairfield Police officer set up at the intersection of the two roads was able to spike the other two tires on the vehicle.

“Despite all four tires being deflated the vehicle continued to flee up River Road toward Skowhegan until the vehicle was no longer operational,” the affidavit says. “This was the conclusion of a 35-minute chase throughout three different towns.”


When Leathers stopped behind the vehicle and directed Elliott to exit the vehicle with other agencies assisting, Elliott refused: “At one point he stated that he would not be dying in a jail cell,” according to the affidavit.

During the chase, Elliott reached criminal speed on several occasions, including when he was observed allegedly traveling 100 mph on Route 201 in Fairfield, where the speed limit is 55 mph, and on Battle Ridge Road in Clinton, where he allegedly traveled 90 mph in the 45 mph zone. Elliott was also observed crossing the center line and driving in the wrong lane.

The exact location of where he was stopped Thursday was not known, but officials at the Riverside Baptist Church roadblock said that the incident was about 2 miles up the road, near the Skowhegan and Clinton town line.

Officer Smith, who was at the scene, saw what he believed was a handgun in Elliott’s hand, which he appeared to be holding “in a way that he wanted us to see it,” the affidavit said, causing officers to retreat and set up a perimeter around the vehicle.

Maine State Police Tactical Team and Crisis Negotiation Team responded to the location and established communication with Elliott. After about five hours, around 3:15 p.m., Elliott surrendered and was handcuffed, searched and then taken by Clinton Police to MaineGeneral Thayer Campus in Waterville. After being evaluated, Elliott was transported to the Kennebec County jail.

Though the chase and where it ended was on a residential road, police said that the vehicle was not near any homes when it came to a stop and there was never any threat to the public.

A bail commissioner was advised that no bail would be set because Elliott was “committing new criminal conduct while already being on bail for a felony.” Following Thursday’s chase, Elliott faces charges of eluding, criminal speeding, failure to stop, possession of a firearm by a felon, operating after habitual offender status and creating a police standoff.

Also assisting at the scene last week were the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office, Maine Warden Service, and Fairfield, Winslow and Skowhegan police departments.

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