An Old Town man who “wanted to kill himself” intentionally drove his car head-on into an Old Town police cruiser late Saturday, Old Town police Sgt. Mike Hashey said Tuesday.
Police initially attempted to stop Erick Gilman, 31, listed as a transient, around 10:45 p.m. for speeding on Gilman Falls Avenue, but he refused to stop, the sergeant said.
Gilman turned his 1991 Chevy Lumina onto Brunswick Street, and when he neared Wood Street he saw Officer James Slauenwhite’s cruiser and “basically made a straight line for him, striking him head-on,” Hashey said.
Both Gilman and Slauenwhite were taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor after the crash, which demolished the cruiser. The officer suffered minor cuts and bruises and was released from the hospital by 2:30 a.m.
“If you look at the car you wouldn’t believe it,” Hashey said. “The investigation [being done by Orono police] determined he did it intentionally. He wanted to kill himself.”
The on-board camera in Slauenwhite’s cruiser shows intent, he said. The investigation is ongoing, with pending blood alcohol and drug screenings, which means “there may be additional charges,” the sergeant said.
Gilman was released from the hospital around 3:30 a.m. and was taken directly to Penobscot County Jail. He was charged with felony aggravated assault and aggravated criminal mischief, based on the fact he used his vehicle as a weapon, Hashey said.
Gilman also was charged with reckless conduct, driving to endanger and failure to stop for police.
He remained in jail Tuesday night, a jail official said. If convicted of aggravated assault, Gilman faces a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.