01/27/2021 - Man Arrested After Injuring Officer and Fleeing
RUMFORD - On Tuesday evening, Rumford Police arrested JOSHUA R BILLINGS, 26 of Mexico, Maine and charged him with Aggravated Assault With A Dangerous Weapon, Reckless Conduct With A dangerous Weapon, Driving To Endanger, Refusing To Stop/Eluding A Police Officer, Criminal Speed/Exceeding Posted Limit By 30 MPH or more, and Operating A Motor Vehicle With A Suspended or Revoked License. BILLINGS was transported to the Oxford County Jail and is being held for his initial Court appearance.
At approximately 8:33 p.m. Tuesday evening, Rumford Police Corporal Lawrence Winson was parked on Franklin Street monitoring traffic when he observed a silver sports car speed past him at a rate significantly higher than the posted 25 MPH zone. The officer further observed the vehicle travel through a blind intersection on the wrong side of the road, endangering other motorists. Cpl. Winson activated his lights and siren, attempting to stop the vehicle, but the driver refused to stop and attempted to elude Cpl. Winson while continuing to drive on the wrong side of the road and failing to stop at a number of stop signs.
Cpl. Winson followed the offending vehicle onto Flood Street in Mexico where the driver attempted to hide from the officer by shutting off his lights and parking in a driveway. Cpl. Winson exited his cruiser and approached the vehicle to order the driver out of the vehicle. While doing so, the driver, JOSHUA BILLINGS, revved his engine and appeared to be getting ready to take off again. When Cpl. Winson pounded on the driver's side window ordering BILLINGS to stop, BILLINGS backed up his vehicle, striking the officer in the right hand and knocking him to the ground. Cpl. Winson then observed the vehicle coming at him and feared that he was about to be run over, and rolled out of the way moments before that could happen. The vehicle sped off again with lights out. An alert went out to all officers throughout the region to be on the look out, but an initial search of the area was unsuccessful.
A number of citizens called in with reports of sightings, one reporting seeing the suspect vehicle driving erratically on Swett Avenue with no lights on.
Approximately an hour later, family members of BILLINGS contacted Rumford Police to report that BILLINGS was hiding at his residence on Ledgeview Drive in Mexico and assisted police in arranging for BILLINGS to turn himself in to officers waiting for him at the Rumford PD.
BILLINGS was subsequently taken into custody without incident and is expected to make his initial court appearance remotely from the jail later this afternoon. BILLINGS is facing several charges, some of which are felony crimes and if convicted, could face up to 10 years in prison.
Cpl. Winson was treated at the Rumford Hospital Emergency Room for the non-life threatening injury to his hand and later released. He is expected to recover from his injury.
Chief Tony Milligan commends the family of BILLINGS and the citizens who acted quickly to offer their assistance in helping the police track BILLINGS down before other members of the public were potentially injured by BILLINGS dangerous driving. "Both the officer involved and the suspect are very lucky that this incident did not result in more serious injuries or death."
Cpl. Winson pursued BILLINGS for just over a mile to the incident site in Mexico where the officer was inured and BILLINGS sped away. BILLINGS was operating a Gray 2008 Hyundai Tiburon.