Fort Fairfield man facing several charges after high-speed chase and shooting at police
Caribou, Maine (WAGM) - Caribou Police report that on Wednesday, December 15, 2021, at approximately 8:45am, Officer Douglas Bell initiated a traffic stop on a silver Buick 4-door car on Main Street in Caribou for a motor vehicle violation. The driver and sole occupant of the vehicle was later identified as being Paul Cote II of Fort Fairfield. Mr. Cote had 3 active warrants, also a suspended driver’s license and was out with bail conditions. Mr. Cote failed to stop for Officer Bell and proceeded onto Fort Street before running the red light at the Route 1 intersection. Officers pursued Mr. Cote on back roads to Presque Isle and then to Fort Fairfield where Chief Matthew Cummings of Fort Fairfield PD took over as primary to the chase as it went into Fort Fairfield, with Chief Cummings maintaining a safe distance behind Mr. Cote who was operating at high, reckless speeds.
Mr. Cote eluded through Caribou, Presque Isle, Fort Fairfield, Limestone and back to Caribou on Route 89 approximately 36 miles, with Officers staying back due to Mr. Cote’s high speeds. Once Mr. Cote reached the Otter Street intersection of the Access Highway, Officer Kevin St. Peter deployed a spike mat on the vehicle, successfully deflating all 4 tires of Mr. Cote’s vehicle. Mr. Cote’s vehicle traveled a short distance, became disabled and crashed into the trees off the northbound lane of the Connector Highway. Mr. Cote took off on foot into the woods, shooting multiple shots from a .25 caliber semi-automatic handgun in the direction of Chief Cummings, who was primary in the pursuit, and Officer Bell. After a short time in the woods, Paul Cote II surrendered to Officer’s who were set up and waiting for him. Officer Bell was assisted by Officer St. Peter, Officer Hunter Flynn, Fort Fairfield PD, Limestone PD, Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office, US Border Patrol, Maine State Police, Maine Warden Service and Caribou Fire and Ambulance.
Paul Cote II had 3 active warrants at the time of this stop, one being a felony warrant for eluding Officer Bell back on October 6, 2021, charges from that incident include Eluding Police, Driving to Endanger, Operating After Suspension and Violation of Bail Conditions. The chase on October 6 was shut down at the time due to visibility and the time of day.
Paul Cote II was checked by Caribou Fire and Ambulance for injuries and transported to Cary Medical Center where he was seen and released with minor injuries. Mr. Cote was transported to the Aroostook County Jail with charges of Reckless Conduct with a Firearm, Criminal Threatening with a Dangerous Weapon Eluding, Passing a Police Roadblock, Driving to Endanger, Speeding 30+mph Over Posted Speed Limit, Operating After Suspension and Violation of Conditions of Release. His initial appearance is scheduled for February 3, 2022. Bail was set at $50,000 cash or $125,000 surety.
No Officers were injured, and no police vehicles were damaged during this long and intense chase. We’d like to thank the public for their assistance and patience while this incident went on.
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