NORRIDGEWOCK — A local man was arrested on a drunken-driving charge Sunday after the vehicle he was driving struck a utility pole, knocking it down onto a police cruiser belonging to a Somerset County Sheriff’s Department deputy, according to court records.

John Howland, 37, of Norridgewock, was charged with criminal operating under the influence and operating after license suspension.

Howland had consumed several beers before he drove his Dodge sport utility vehicle into a utility pole on Walker Road at around 1:30 a.m. Sunday, according to an affidavit by Trooper Aaron Turcotte of the Maine State Police.

The pole fell onto the back of a police cruiser that was in the area to respond to a report of a vehicle being driven erratically.

There was extensive damage to the Dodge, according to the affidavit, including deployed airbags and a shattered windshield. Howland refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test and tried to escape from police, according to the affidavit.

The license plates on the vehicle were registered to another vehicle – a Jeep belonging to Howland’s wife.

Howland was taken to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan and then to the Somerset County Jail in East Madison, where he remains in custody.

This story will be updated.

Rachel Ohm can be contacted at 612-2368 or at [email protected]