January 13, 2013

Madison man hit with OUI, child endangerment, eluding following Saturday chase

James Robert Labonte, 28, of Madison, had two children in car, no driver's license, according to police

By Amy Calder acalder@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

MADISON -- A man arrested Saturday after reportedly driving under the influence -- with two children in his vehicle -- and eluding a police officer is expected to be arraigned in court Monday.

James Robert Labonte, 28, of Madison, was also driving without a license when police Officer Eric Bronson tried to stop the vehicle he was driving on East Madison Road at 3:12 p.m. Saturday, according to Corporal Joe Mitchell.

Mitchell said Sunday that Bronson tried to stop the 1999 Nissan van for a traffic violation, but Labonte refused to stop.

"He went up East Madison Road and Abnaki Road about a mile and a half and bailed out of the vehicle and tried to run, and Officer Bronson, after a short foot pursuit, arrested him," Mitchell said.

Labonte had driven to his father's house on Abnaki Road, according to Mitchell.

"He apparently got out of the vehicle before the vehicle had come to a complete stop," he said.

Mitchell said Labonte's two young children were in the van, and it struck a building on his father's property.

The chase ended at 3:15 p.m., Mitchell said.

"Having children under 16 when charged with OUI is an aggravating factor in the sentencing, and as far as I'm aware, I don't believe Mr. Labonte ever had a driver's license," Mitchell said. "He had a permit."

Labonte was charged with two counts each of endangering the life of a child and driving to endanger, as well as charges of operating under the influence, eluding an officer, refusing to submit to arrest or detention, operating after license suspension and leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident.

He was taken to Somerset County Jail, where he remained on Sunday, Mitchell said.

He said Labonte probably will be arraigned Monday morning.

"He has an extensive record, going back to when he was a juvenile," he said.

Amy Calder -- 861-9247


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