2014-05-22 / Front Page

Motorist, passenger arrested after police chase

Driver tries to run down Sagadahoc Deputy
Gina Hamilton, Times Record staff


Bath Police arrested James Badger, 26, after a lengthy police chase by car and on foot, and an attempt to run down a Sagadahoc sheriff's deputy. Also arrested was his passenger, 24-year-old Weston Gardner. Both men are from Bath.

On Thursday just after 4 p.m.,  the Sagadahoc Sheriff’s Office received a complaint of a motor vehicle driving recklessly on the State Road in West Bath, heading toward Bath. Another motorist reported seeing the vehicle drive on the roadside curbing as well as swerving all over the roadway. It was described as a white SUV.

Dep. Matthew Shiers responded, and  asked for assistance from the Bath Police Department to locate the vehicle.

Bath Police responded. In the meantime, Shiers spotted the vehicle on Richardson Street as it turned onto Matty Way in Bath. Shiers observed the vehicle pull into a driveway,and tried to position his car so that he was blocking the SUV in, but it was able to back out and turn around. Shiers, outside his vehicle, shouted for the driver to stop, but instead, the driver accelerated toward the officer in an attempt to run him down. He was able to avoid injury, but he had to radio for other officers to pick up the chase.

Bath Police Officers Sgt. Gould and Cpl. Jason Aucoin attempted to stop the vehicle with lights and sirens as the car traveled east on Richardson Street and turned left onto High St. heading north.

The driver of the SUV stopped at the stop sign on High Street at the intersection of Court, right at the courthouse. The driver jumped out and fled on foot, but the passenger remained in the car and was arrested.

The officers chased the operator on foot down Court Street, then the suspect jumped a fence and ran across Route 1. He was taken into custody at the parking lot at Bert's Exxon.

The driver, James Badger of Russell Street in Bath, was charged with aggravated reckless conduct, a Class B felony, eluding an officer, a Class C felony, operating under the influence, and operating after license suspension. Badger was also wanted for failing to pay previous fines for OUI and drug possession, and theft.

The passenger, Weston Gardner, of Floral Street in Bath, was arrested and charged with a warrant for failure to pay a fine and a probation violaton.

Neither were able to post bail, and were taken to Two Bridges Regional Jail.

“James Badger put many motorists and pedestrians in harm’s way this afternoon with his reckless driving.He attempted to run down a law enforcement officer in an effort to avoid apprehension. I am very grateful no one was injured.The responding officers from the Sagadahoc Sheriff’s Department and Bath Police Department did an outstanding job in apprehending Mr. Badger,” wrote Lt. Robert Savary.

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