October 31, 2013

Ontario teen could face additional charges for crime spree

Zachary Wittke is accused of leading high speed chase from Canadian border down Route 27 earlier this month.

By Kaitlin Schroeder kschroeder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

FARMINGTON — A 16-year-old Ontario boy is expected to face additional charges after allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase in multiple stolen vehicles earlier this month, according to the Franklin County district attorney’s office.

click image to enlarge

HEARING: Zachary Wittke leaves Franklin County District Court in Farmington on Oct. 15. He was treated earlier in the day at a local hospital after injuring himself while jumping into the Carrabassett River.

Staff file photo by David Leaming

Zachary Wittke, of Eganville, Ontario, already is facing three class C felonies and made an appearance Wednesday afternoon in Franklin County Court.

The state will finish reviewing evidence early next week and expects to file any additional charges by Wittke’s next court appearance, on Nov. 15, according to Franklin County District Attorney Josh Robbins.

A substantial amount of evidence needed to be reviewed in this case, Robbins said, which is why all charges are not already filed.

“The state is still reviewing evidence as we receive it,” he said.

Wittke’s attorney, Christopher Berryment, said after the hearing that it’s important in this case to not focus on punishment but rather on getting the teen home and providing rehabilitation services to him.

“And Canada is the place for that rehabiltiation to happen,” he said.

Wittke is being held at Mountain View Youth Development Center in Charleston.

Wittke, along with a 13-year-old girl who is also from Ontario, is accused of speeding through the border crossing between Coburn Gore and St.-Augustin-de-Woburn, Quebec, on Oct. 14 and leading police on a chase south on Route 27 that reached speeds of up to 100 mph.

The fleeing car and a Border Patrol vehicle collided near Stratton, about 30 miles from the border, and the agents fired shots at the car, which kept heading south toward Kingfield, 20 miles away, where they allegedly stole a pickup truck.

Police said the pair was caught after pickup crashed and the teens injured themselves by jumping into the Carrabassett River.

Wittke is charged in Maine with three class C felonies: eluding an officer, passing a roadblock and aggravated criminal mischief. Wittke is also on probation and wanted in Ontario on arrest warrants.

Robbins said the state has not pressed charges against the girl and at this point does not plan to do so.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252kschroeder@centralmaine.com
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