DEXTER – A man serving six years’ probation stemming from his murder conviction led police on a high-speed pursuit through three towns early Friday evening.
After a dramatic sequence of events, Floyd Firth, 42, of Sangerville was apprehended, arrested and taken to Piscataquis County Jail, where he remained Friday night.
Officer Jon Brown of the Dexter Police Department responded to calls of a vehicle that was being driven erratically. When the officer attempted to stop the vehicle Firth was driving, it sped away, according to Brown.
This started a pursuit in which speeds exceeded 100 mph. Rainy conditions added to the risk of the chase, which went through Dexter and Sangerville before ending in Guilford.
“[The rain] made things very difficult – visibility was very low,” Brown said.
Firth was one of three men who, in April 1992, beat 79-year-old Carroll Howard of Warren and left him to bleed to death in Rockland. He and his accomplices were not caught until three years after their crime.
Firth, who lived in Rockland at the time, received an eight-year prison sentence for felony murder and robbery. He was released from prison after serving one year and 289 days of his sentence. He has served time in jail three times since then for violating probation.
Officer Brown said that Firth made several risky maneuvers during the pursuit. When another officer from Dexter set up a roadblock, Brown said, Firth nearly struck the cruiser. Later in the pursuit, the fleeing motorist hit a bridge abutment and caused damage to his vehicle.
According to Brown, Officer Guy Dow of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department laid down a spike strip that blew out two of the car’s tires as it passed through Sangerville. Firth’s vehicle came to a stop in Guilford, where he jumped out of his car and attempted to run.
“He didn’t get far, just a couple of steps before I grabbed him,” Brown said. He added that the whole pursuit seemed to last an hour but actually took place over about a 10-minute span.
Firth has been charged with eluding a police officer, failure to stop for a roadblock, criminal speeding and driving to endanger. Brown said other charges likely will be filed in the near future.