February 12

Fairfield man’s attempted escape from police cut short by Taser, ice

When Josue Gonzalez broke free of police during an arrest, the icy conditions left both him and pursuing officers on the ground.

By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling mhhetling@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

A man’s failed escape attempt in Fairfield left him and pursuing officers slipping on the ice.

Josue Gonzalez, 33, of Robinson Street, was at the scene of a police call at his home on the afternoon of Feb. 6 when officers checked his name and determined that a warrant for his arrest had been issued, according to Fairfield Police Chief Tom Gould. They were at his house on an unrelated call that did not lead to charges, Gould said.

Gould said that when Sgt. Matt Bard and Officer Shanna Blodgett told Gonzalez he was wanted on a warrant, Gonzalez said he was not. After the officers took control of Gonzalez and before they put handcuffs on him, Gonzalez broke free and began to run, but slipped and fell on the icy ground.

The police discharged a Taser, but Gould said it struck Gonzalez’s clothes and was not fully effective.

“He outran the Taser and the wires broke,” Gould said.

The officers began chasing him, but they, too, slipped and fell, Gould said.

No one was injured in the chase, and Gonzalez was caught within a few minutes about 100 yards away.

The aborted escape attempt led to charges of escape and refusing to submit to arrest or detention, both class D misdemeanors that are punishable by a maximum of 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine, according to the Office of the Maine Attorney General.

Gould said the warrant was issued by the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department on a charge of failing to appear in court.

Gonzalez, who previously lived in Haverhill, Mass., has been convicted of a variety of crimes in the area over the past few years.

In December, the Somerset County Superior Court sentenced him to two nine-day jail terms for violating conditions of release and two 48-hour jail terms for violating conditions of release and disorderly conduct using offensive words and gestures.

He also was sentenced to a 364-day jail sentence with all but 48 hours suspended and two years of probation on a domestic violence assault conviction.

In January 2011 and again in September 2011, Gonzalez was sentenced in Skowhegan District Court to a 48-hour jail sentence for violating conditions of release.

A series of other charges against him have been dismissed.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287 mhhetling@centralmaine.com Twitter: @hh_matt
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