A LaGrange man who allegedly escaped custody, stole a police cruiser and led officers on a high-speed chase in Dexter has been indicted by a Penobscot County grand jury on charges related to the May incident.

Tyler Tibbetts, 23, is charged with escape, eluding an officer, driving to endanger, operating after revocation, aggravated criminal mischief, reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, refusing to submit to arrest, criminal speed and two counts of theft by unauthorized taking.

The charges are being brought following a May 11 incident in which Dexter police arrested Tibbetts on an outstanding warrant. A probation and parole employee placed Tibbetts in the backseat of a police SUV with his hands restrained in handcuffs behind his back. Between Tibbetts and the front driver’s area was a partition with an 11-by-11-inch opening. Police believe that Tibbetts contorted himself to bring the handcuffs in front of his body before squeezing through the opening into the driver’s seat. He then stole the cruiser, according to police.

Tibbetts fled the area in the vehicle but abandoned it off Parkman Road in Garland by 1:15 p.m. Police caught up with him shortly after 2 p.m., when officers spotted him driving another vehicle. Tibbetts refused to stop and led officers on a brief high-speed chase through Dover-Foxcroft. He crashed the vehicle into the woods on Bangor Road in Corinth.

Tibbetts suffered serious injuries in the crash and was treated at Eastern Maine Medical Center for a number of days until he was arrested upon release and taken into police custody.

Tibbetts has a lengthy criminal record that began in 2013 when he was sentenced as a juvenile by a judge for burglary and theft.


Last month, he was indicted on a charge of theft by unauthorized taking related to the theft of another vehicle in Dexter that took place in January, according to the Penobscot District Attorney’s office. He also has a case open regarding a charge of operating after revocation.

All of these matters will be consolidated and handled together when he is expected to appear in court on Sept. 10 for a dispositional conference at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

Tibbetts is currently incarcerated at the Maine Correctional Institute in Windham where he is serving a 16-month sentence for violating his probation out of Somerset County.

He could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 if convicted of the charge for theft of the vehicle, which is a Class B felony.

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239


Twitter: @EmilyHigg

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