January 14, 2013

Police: Drunk driver had two kids in car

By Amy Calder acalder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

MADISON — A man arrested Saturday and accused by police of eluding a police officer and driving under the influence – with two children in his vehicle – is expected to be arraigned Monday.

James Robert Labonte, 28, of Madison, also was driving without a license when Officer Eric Bronson tried to stop the vehicle he was driving on East Madison Road at 3:12 p.m. Saturday, said Cpl. Joe Mitchell.

Bronson tried to stop the 1999 Nissan van for a traffic violation, but Labonte refused to stop, Mitchell said Sunday.

"He went up East Madison Road and Abnaki Road about a mile and a half and bailed out of the vehicle and tried to run. Officer Bronson, after a short foot pursuit, arrested him," Mitchell said.

Labonte had driven to his father's house on Abnaki Road, Mitchell. "He apparently got out of the vehicle before the vehicle had come to a complete stop," he said.

Mitchell said the van, with Labonte's two young children inside, struck a building on the father's property.

"Having children under 16 when charged with OUI is an aggravating factor in the sentencing, and as far as I'm aware, I don't believe Mr. Labonte ever had a driver's license," Mitchell said. "He had a permit."

Police said Labonte was charged with two counts each of endangering the life of a child and driving to endanger, as well as charges of operating under the influence, eluding an officer, refusing to submit to arrest or detention, and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident.

He was taken to Somerset County Jail, where he remained on Sunday, Mitchell said.

He said Labonte probably will be arraigned Monday morning.

Morning Sentinel Staff Writer Amy Calder can be contacted at 861-9247 or at:



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