CLINTON — A Clinton police officer was legally justified last fall when he shot out the tires of a moving car to stop a reckless driver, the Maine Attorney General’s Office concluded in a report released Tuesday.

The report says officer Jeffrey Belanger’s use of deadly force was warranted because Jessica Rood of Clinton ignored police commands to stop and nearly hit Belanger with her car in a parking lot. No one was injured during the incident, and Rood was later arrested.

“The attorney general’s investigation and analysis concluded that officer Belanger reasonably believed that deadly force — discharging his firearm at a moving vehicle — was necessary to prevent Ms. Rood from again driving out of the parking lot and seriously endangering human life as demonstrated by her actions up to that point,” the report says.

Informed of the report’s conclusion, Clinton Police Chief Craig Johnson said Tuesday that he was pleased. Belanger is one of two full-time officers in the department; the other is Johnson.Rood, 31, did not return a phone message.

According to Waterville District Court records, Rood agreed to a plea that was approved Nov. 5. She pleaded guilty to refusing to submit to arrest and reckless conduct, and in return the prosecution dismissed a charge of driving to endanger.

Rood was sentenced to 20 days in jail and fined $20, according to court records.

The incident began about 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 18. According to the report, Johnson was contacted by a social worker about a call she had received from Rood, “who told her that she had been drinking coffee brandy since 8 a.m. and was having a tough day.”

Two hours later, Kennebec County Deputy Sheriff Scott Cyrway contacted Johnson, saying that he had spoken with Rood on the phone after receiving a complaint and warned her to stop harassing another person. Rood sounded depressed and potentially suicidal, Cyrway told Johnson.

About 2 p.m., Rood was found in the driver’s seat of her car at Old Mill Park in Clinton. The car doors were locked and the driver’s window was open a few inches; Rood was crying and appeared intoxicated, and refused to roll down her windows or get out of the car.

Johnson reached through the slightly open window and unlocked the door. Rood became agitated and stepped on the gas with the police chief’s arm still inside. Johnson moved along with the car and freed himself as Rood sped off to Main Street.

Rood couldn’t be found until about 4 p.m., when Belanger tracked her back to Old Mill Park, where she was once again in the driver’s seat. Belanger parked his cruiser behind Rood. She tried to back her car into the cruiser, but Belanger moved out of the way and blocked the parking lot entrance.

Johnson arrived and both officers approached Rood’s car, telling her to turn off the engine and unlock the doors. “Officer Belanger attempted to open the driver’s door of Ms. Rood’s vehicle. Ms. Rood rapidly accelerated. Officer Belanger fired several shots from his service weapon at the driver’s side tires of the vehicle.”

Rood continued speeding onto Main Street. Johnson and Belanger pursued her in their cruisers for another 10 minutes until Rood drove into the town office parking lot and was blocked in by both cruisers.

She “aggressively resisted arrest … ,” but the officers finally arrested her.