January 3, 2013

Attorney General clears Trooper in use of deadly force

Trooper Kyle Wells shot at a car driven by Matthew Cole, 23 of Portland to disable it following a September car chase on the Maine Turnpike.

The Attorney General's Office has determined that a Maine State Trooper's use of deadly force in Scarborough on Sept. 15 was justified.

The report says Trooper Kyle Wells shot at a car driven by Matthew Cole, 23 of Portland to disable it. Cole was backing his car rapidly toward the trooper, the report said. Nobody was injured.

The incident started at the mile 44 toll station of the southbound lanes of the Maine Turnpike.

Wells was checking cars as the passed through the toll booth when at 5:39 p.m. he saw Cole driving a grey Honda with an expired registration sticker. Wells told Cole to pull over but instead he sped off, the report said.

The car weaved in and out of traffic then got off the turnpike in Scarborough at Exit 42, the report said. Wells found the car had gone off the road and landed in a ditch.

Wells had his gun drawn and told Cole to get out, but instead Cole gunned the engine and tried to back out of the ditch toward Wells, the report said. Wells fired at the car to disable it, a justified use of force, the report said.

Cole ultimately surrendered and was charged with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, attempting to elude police, criminal speed and violation of probation.

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