Police were searching Sunday for a man they described as “armed and dangerous” after he drove through a garage door Friday night to escape officers who had surrounded a house where he was staying.

The standoff and a series of high-speed chases began early Friday when police learned that Diego Martinez, 31, was staying at a Sabattus residence. As a Maine State Police tactical team surrounded the home, Martinez crashed a vehicle through a garage door and led police on several chases through multiple nearby towns, police told the Sun Journal.

Diego Martinez, 31 File photo courtesy of Androscoggin County Jail

Martinez is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, approximately 160 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes. The public has been cautioned not to approach him. Anyone who sees him or knows where he might be should contact Maine State Police at 624-7076 or contact local police.

“We have a team of resources actively looking for him along with other law enforcement agencies,” Maine State Police spokesperson Shannon Moss said Sunday.

According to police and court records, Martinez has a history of assault, weapons charges and police chases similar to Friday’s. Most recently, Martinez was charged with illegal possession of a firearm and possession of methamphetamine. Those charges are pending.

Police were executing a search warrant and multiple arrest warrants when Friday’s standoff on Sabattus Road began. Because of Martinez’s background, state police were called in to assist.


“I’ve been working in law enforcement for 35 years,” Sabattus Police Chief Erik Baker told the Sun Journal. “I’ve never seen someone come through a garage door like that.”

Officers chased Martinez from Sabattus to Lewiston, with the suspect traveling the wrong way down Pine Street at 100 mph, the Sun Journal reported. Because the chase reached dangerous speeds, police broke it off. A short time later, Martinez crashed the vehicle on Washington Street in Auburn and fled on foot.

Later Friday night, the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department was involved in another chase through Poland and into Oxford, ending when the vehicle crashed near Oxford Plains Speedway. The driver fled on foot, and police told the Sun Journal there was evidence it might have been Martinez. Search dogs were called to find the driver.

About 30 minutes later, Martinez was reported driving yet another vehicle and headed north, and police from several agencies started searching in the Oxford-Norway area. Shortly after 11 p.m., he crashed a Subaru into a porch in Norway but was still at large, the Sun Journal reported.

Sabattus Police Chief Erik Baker cautioned people not to interact with Martinez.

“We want to make sure the public knows not to approach him. That any information on his whereabouts would be important to police,” Baker said Sunday. “We’d like to make sure he is taken into custody without incident and that no one gets hurt.”


Baker said he is worried about public safety given Martinez’s record.

“He’s doing anything he can to not get caught. It’s becoming dangerous to the public.” Baker urged Martinez to turn himself in to authorities.

If someone spots Martinez, in addition to calling police they can also message Baker on the Sabattus Facebook page.

Martinez does not live in Sabattus, Baker said.

“We got information he was staying there recently,” Baker said, adding that he’s not sure where Martinez lives.

“When I ran his background check he is originally from Massachusetts,” but he had been seen in the Millinocket, Lewiston-Auburn and Oxford areas.

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