LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- According to the Lewiston Police Department, two teenage boys stole a front loader and led police on a dangerous pursuit on the Maine Turnpike, Monday morning.
Lewiston police said they arrested two-14-year-old male suspects for this incident.
"The operator of the loader deliberately struck a passenger car that was traveling Northbound. Fearing a possible loss of life due to the erratic and dangerous operation, a Lewiston Police officer fired three shots at the tires of the loader. The end result was that the operator stopped the loader, and the chase ended," said police.
Officials said the operator of the loader was traveling the wrong way on a one-way street, before heading on the Maine Turnpike, traveling Southbound, followed by Lewiston Police officers.
Maine State Police said they were notified once the loader got on to the turnpike, and Lewiston Police officers continued to follow and keep traffic away. At some point in New Gloucester, the operator of the loader crossed the median, and started to travel Southbound in the Northbound lane of the turnpike, said police.
According to officers, they attempted to stop the loader before it got into the Maine Turnpike. When it failed to stop and started to swerve into the oncoming lane of traffic, officers went ahead of the loader to block off streets. They said the loader continued to travel on to several Lewiston streets traveling at speeds between 8 to 30 MPH. At several times, the operator of the loader veered into several of the Lewiston cruisers and eventually struck one of the cruisers. The officer wasn’t hurt.
Officials said this incident is being investigated by the Maine State Police, Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Department, and the Lewiston Police Department. The Office of the Maine Attorney General was notified as a protocol with any officer-involved shooting, and they will be conducting their own investigation, according to police.
The two juveniles were transported to the Lewiston Police department, with charges pending, said police.
Maine State Police confirm to NEWS CENTER that the front loader stolen & suspects are in custody.
Police said they sent an ambulance as a precaution and we do not know of any injuries at this time.
Lewiston Police Watch Commander said to expect delays and traffic near the New Gloucester Toll Plaza. This is where the suspects were stopped, he said.
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