AUGUSTA — A man who allegedly stole an Augusta police cruiser that had been left unlocked and running at the police department and drove it to a supermarket, radioing in to dispatch that he was watching a “suspect,” on Friday was found incompetent to stand trial.

Kyle King, 27, of Augusta, faces charges of theft by unauthorized taking and impersonating a public servant on Nov. 26, 2022. King allegedly stole an Augusta cruiser that had been left parked outside the police station on Union Street, unlocked and running, according to an affidavit filed by Aaron Paradis, the officer who was using the cruiser when it was stolen. The cruiser was parked in the department’s rear parking lot that is marked with signs stating “Police Only” but is not secured by a gate or fence.

Paradis was taking a report in the lobby of the police station when he walked back out and saw his cruiser had been taken from the parking lot, he wrote in the affidavit.

King told police he took the cruiser and drove off in it “because he wanted to help,” Paradis said.

King allegedly drove the cruiser to Shaw’s Plaza, according to police, where he used the police radio to contact a dispatcher to report he was watching a suspect in the 150 Western Ave. parking lot. While there he also apparently left the police car to follow a family into Shaw’s supermarket where he had a confrontation with them. Then he returned to the cruiser, activated its lights and sirens and approached members of the same family at their car, according to a woman involved in the incident.

Augusta police then arrived on the scene and dragged King out of the car, onto the ground and arrested him.


Paradis, in disciplinary action following an internal investigation, was given a one-day unpaid suspension, according to Deputy Police Chief Kevin Lully.

Police Chief Jared Mills said after the incident last year the department’s policy “dictates that our doors are locked and the keys are not left in the vehicle to prevent something like this from happening.”

In court Friday, Superior Court Justice Michaela Murphy found King to be incompetent and unable to assist in his own defense. Murphy heard from prosecutor Michael Madigan, an assistant district attorney, and King’s attorney Stephen Bourget, and reviewed a mental health evaluation of King by Ann LeBlanc, a forensic psychologist and contract examiner for the State Forensic Service. Murphy said there was ample evidence to support the finding King is not competent to stand trial.

“At this time Mr. King lacks the skills required for him to assist in his own defense,” Murphy said Friday at the Capital Judicial Center during a competency hearing for King, whom police described as a transient person in the Augusta area.

She ordered King, who appeared in court in a green Kennebec County jail uniform, to be remanded to Riverview Psychiatric Center as soon as possible so he may begin treatment in an effort to restore his mental competency so he can stand trial. She said King, who has been in jail, would be hospitalized as soon as Riverview has a bed available for him.

King was committed to the custody of the commissioner of the state Department of Health and Human Services. Murphy said after 30 days, and at 30-day periods thereafter if necessary, the courts should receive reports from the State Forensic Service on whether King had been restored to competency to stand trial.

She said if, by six months from Friday’s hearing, the state has not been able to restore King to competency, the charges against him would be dismissed. State law provides that the court may, at that point, notify authorities who may institute civil commitment proceedings for such individuals.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.