Corey Paradise was not charged with operating under the influence, but the Gorham man does face a multitude of other charges stemming from a long, bizarre police chase Saturday night – sometimes at incredibly slow speeds.
Scarborough police tried to pull Paradise over on Payne Road for having a headlight out in the Pontiac Vibe he was driving. It was Saturday at 7:26 p.m., and not even fully dark yet. His wife was a passenger in the car, and carried their small dog in her lap.
Paradise made as if he was stopping at the Cabela’s plaza, but continued slowly through the Phantom Fireworks parking lot, then back out onto Payne Road, despite the bright blue emergency lights and police siren, according to Scarborough police Sgt. Rick Rouse.
Paradise, 41, then drove onto the Maine Turnpike entrance ramp, made a U-turn, then another U-turn, went through the toll booth without stopping and got on the highway heading north, Rouse said. As he did, he knocked over a number of orange traffic cones, one of which became lodged in the front left corner of the car’s bumper. As he drove, the rubber dragged along the road, creating smoke.
At some point on the highway, Paradise did get up to 80 mph, Rouse said, though never fast enough to be charged with criminal speeding as often happens in a police chase. As he drove down the highway, he swerved across the road, almost into a ditch. Then he tossed a large beverage container out his window, which broke on the cruiser, splashing liquid onto it, Rouse said.
Paradise got off at Exit 53 in West Falmouth and a Maine State Police trooper joined the pursuit. The car headed down Gray Road, wound its way to Allen Avenue in Portland, then to Stevens Avenue, sometimes passing cars even as other cars were headed toward him, Rouse said.
Portland police were now following him as well.
At this point, police had backed off the pursuit to reduce the risk to the public, turning off their lights and sirens, Rouse said. Paradise was driving at about 18 mph. He eventually drove down the 100 block of Pleasant Avenue in Woodfords, pulled into a driveway, then ran from the car.
Portland police searched the area and found Paradise hiding under a nearby porch. After a scuffle, in which an officer received a cut, Paradise was arrested and taken to the Cumberland County Jail.
He was charged with driving to endanger, refusing to submit to arrest, two charges of driving with a suspended license, eluding an officer, assault on an officer, failure to report an accident, violating bail conditions, criminal mischief, drug possession, failure to pay fines and failure to appear in court.