Deputies from the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office were continuing their search Monday for a motorcyclist who reportedly led a deputy on a high-speed chase Sunday night through Canaan and Pittsfield.

Meanwhile, some of the motorcyclist’s family members in Pittsfield were arrested for allegedly assaulting deputies and a wrecker driver who was attempting to seize the suspect’s motorcycle.

Clarence I. Rider Jr. Somerset County Sheriff’s Office photo

Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said Monday that anyone with information about the motorcyclist — Clarence Rider III, 41, of Canaan — should call the Sheriff’s Office at 474-9591.

Lancaster said his office was working Monday to get an arrest warrant for Rider.

The chase by Deputy Stephen Armiger started shortly after 4:28 p.m. Sunday when he was dispatched to a motorcycle crash with possible trauma on the Hill Road in Canaan, according to Lancaster.

While Armiger was en route to the accident, the Canaan Fire Department reported the operator of the motorcycle and a passenger had gotten back onto the motorcycle and fled the crash scene, Lancaster said.


Arlene M. Rider Somerset County Sheriff’s Office photo

Armiger saw what he believed to be the fleeing motorcyclists on a 2002 Honda VTX 1800. The deputy followed the motorcycle, catching up to it on U.S. Route 2. He turned on his emergency blue lights and siren, signaling for the operator to pull over, according to Lancaster.

“The operator accelerated and began to pass other vehicles,” Lancaster said. “The motorcycle reached speeds of over 100 mph.”

The Sheriff’s Office shift supervisor, Cpl. Matthew Cunningham, overheard the radio traffic, including that the pursuit stopped. But as Armiger was turning off his emergency equipment, he saw the motorcycle turn onto the Wilson Road in Pittsfield, according to Lancaster.

Casey M. Rider Somerset County Sheriff’s Office photo

Knowing Wilson Road is a dead-end, Armiger followed the motorcycle down the road and saw the operator of the motorcycle push the passenger, a female, off the motorcycle, Lancaster said.

“The operator of the motorcycle than accelerated again through a cornfield, around Deputy Armiger’s cruiser and back to the roadway,” he said.

“Deputy Armiger stopped to check the well-being of the passenger. At this point, the deputy identified the passenger and the operator. The operator of the motorcycle was identified as Clarence I. Rider III, age 41, of Canaan.”


Stephanie A. Freeman Somerset County Sheriff’s Office photo

After further investigation, deputies headed to a home on Livingston Street in Pittsfield, according to Lancaster. They did not make contact with Clarence Rider III at the home, but the motorcycle involved was in plain view, Lancaster said.

“The deputies advised family members that the motorcycle was going to be towed and impounded,” he said. “While waiting for the wrecker to arrive, family members became verbally belligerent.”

Rider’s father, Clarence I. Rider Jr., 63, of  Exeter, arrived with a handgun in his waistband and tried to take possession of the motorcycle, according to Lancaster.

“The deputies ordered Rider to stand back,” he said. “He refused. As Rider Jr. was being arrested, family members attempted to intervene and the incident turned physical. Deputies and the wrecker driver were assaulted while attempting to load the motorcycle onto the wrecker.”

Deputies arrested Rider Jr.; Casey Rider, 36, of Pittsfield; Arlene M. Rider, 62, of Exeter; and Stephanie A. Freeman, 31, of Skowhegan, according to Lancaster.

The four were charged with obstruction of governmental administration and taken to Somerset County Jail in Skowhegan. They were allowed to make bail and are scheduled to appear Sept. 9 at Skowhegan Unified Court, according to Lancaster.

Lancaster said all four had a part in assaulting the deputies and wrecker driver, all of whom were punched but did not require medical care.

Lancaster said the cases will be reviewed by the Somerset County District Attorney’s Office for additional charges.

Officers from the Maine State Police and Pittsfield Police Department assisted sheriff’s deputies at the scene on Livingston Street in Pittsfield, according to Lancaster.

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