FAIRFIELD – A Waterville man was arrested Friday night following a lengthy low-speed pursuit that began when police tried to pull him over for having a headlight out.

Authorities said Kenneth D. Cowen, 39, of Ursula Street ignored the sirens and flashing lights of a police cruiser for about 4 miles, at speeds of 25 mph or less, and continued driving even after running over road spikes.

Cowen was charged with failing to stop for police and was released by police after paying a $60 fee for personal-recognizance bail. He’s scheduled to appear in Somerset County District Court in Skowhegan July 7.

“This was very unusual,” said Fairfield Deputy Chief Steve Trahan. “One, for the very low speed and, two, for there to be really no good explanation as to why he was failing to stop.”

The snail’s-pace chase started at 10:22 p.m. when Fairfield officer Daniel Mayotte noticed a 2001 Chevrolet Silverado driving on Norridgewock Road with a headlight out, according to Trahan. Mayotte put on his cruiser’s lights and got behind the truck to pull it over for driving with a vehicle defect.

Cowen, who police said was driving the truck, proceeded to continue driving leisurely as if there were not a police cruiser behind him. Cowen obeyed all traffic laws during the pursuit — stopping properly at stop signs and using his signal when he turned onto different roads, Trahan said.

The truck led Mayotte’s cruiser down Davis Road and Martin Stream Road, Ten Lots Road and onto Gagnon Road.

Trahan said that during the pursuit, officer Mayotte saw something thrown out the window. “It appeared to be a ‘baggy,’ but we were not able to retrieve it,” Trahan said. “He threw it out the window and the contents of it dissipated when he threw it out.”

Meanwhile, Trahan said he and Patrol Sgt. Matthew Bard and two officers from the Oakland Police Department were waiting for Cowen on Gagnon Road, where Bard had set up road spikes. Cowen drove over the spikes, resulting in three flat tires; but even then the truck didn’t stop.

“There was no danger to the public, which is the only reason why he was allowed to continue and the officer followed at a safe distance,” Trahan said, “but he was just not going to stop, so Sgt. Bard set up road spikes on Gagnon Road with his cruiser’s lights on, and still he (Cowen) failed to stop for that.”

The truck rolled on for about another quarter-mile before coming to a stop near the intersection with Oakland Road.

Cowen was ordered out of the truck at gunpoint by officers. He was taken into custody without incident and his truck was towed, Trahan said,

What explanation did Cowen offer to police for not stopping?

“He didn’t believe he was the person we were trying to stop,” Trahan said. “However, he was the only vehicle on the road at the time.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.