5/6/24 Paris, ME – Man Being Transported From The Hospital To Jail – Slips Cuffs – Steals Police Car – Police Chief Thrown From Vehicle – Crashes – Shoots At Officers – Steals Second Police Vehicle – Apprehended

May 6, 2024


A man was arrested Monday after police say he escaped police custody, stole two police vehicles and lead police in two pursuits, a chaotic scene that only ended after an exchange of gunfire, according to Maine State Police.

Maine Department of Public Safety spokesperson Shannon Moss said Monday in a news release that Gary Porter, 37, who is reportedly unhoused, was arrested on charges of two counts of theft, assault on a police officer, escaping, eluding and violation of bail.

According to police, Porter had been arrested around 7:18 a.m. Monday morning on a warrant charging felony theft, Moss said. He was transported to Stephen’s Memorial Hospital in Norway due to unrelated health conditions.

Paris Police Chief Mike Dailey reportedly transported Porter from the hospital to Oxford County Jail. While attempting to remove him from the vehicle, police said Porter slipped his cuffed hands to the front of his body, moved to the driver’s seat and drove off in the police vehicle. Dailey was reportedly thrown from the moving vehicle while attempting to stop him.

Officers from Norway, Oxford and Paris departments, Cumberland and Oxford County sheriffs’ deputies, Maine State Police and Fire Marshals pursued Porter until he crashed into a ditch on Route 117 in Paris, police said.

Witness Linda Marie Mercer of Bridgton said found herself trapped behind stopped police vehicles beside the truck that had run into the ditch.

Mercer said that she watched the scene in front of her, a man dressed in a hospital gown came out of the truck and opened fire on police on the roadway in front of her. She said officers immediately shot back.

According to the release, gunfire was exchanged between Porter and law enforcement before the man stole an Oxford County Sheriff’s Department vehicle, which he crashed shortly after.

The man must have “hunkered down” in the ditch, Mercer said, because as soon as police stopped shooting, he stood up and ran. She said he was in handcuffs and holding a gun.

Mercer said he leaped into what looked like a police vehicle on the road ahead of her and took off.

Porter was apprehended and taken to a local hospital for injuries, the release said. He was once again transported to Oxford County Jail.

All officers involved in the gunfire exchange have been placed on administrative leave, a standard practice for officer-involved shootings.

The Maine Attorney General’s Office is investigating the incident. The Maine Attorney General’s Office investigates all officer-involved shootings.

A Stephen’s Memorial Hospital spokesperson deferred questions to law enforcement.

Moss said Maine State Police, Oxford County Sheriff’s Office and Norway, Oxford and Paris police departments were all present at the end of the incident. Cumberland County Sheriff’s deputies were also on the scene.

Many roads in South Paris were closed off during and after the incident. Mercer, who managed to depart from the scene and head to her appointment, said police vehicles were still converging on the area when she left.