Handcuffed Suspect Steals 2 Police Cars

A man accused of stealing two police vehicles, surviving gunfire from 11 officers, and causing a multi-agency chase, all while handcuffed and wearing a hospital gown, is currently unfit to appear before a judge, according to his attorney. The man, identified as Gary Porter, was initially found unconscious in a chicken coop on Monday. Already wanted on a felony theft warrant, Porter was arrested and taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Paris Police Chief Mike Dailey was transporting Porter to jail when the suspect managed to move his handcuffs from behind his back to the front, take control of the police vehicle, and drive away. Dailey attempted to stop Porter but was thrown to the ground in the process. This sparked a chase involving officers from Norway, Oxford, and Paris, as well as sheriff’s deputies and state police in a rural part of Maine, approximately 48 miles from Portland.

The chase ended when police deployed spike mats, causing Porter to crash into a ditch. Despite his handcuffs, Porter managed to exit the crashed vehicle and enter another police cruiser, all under the watchful eyes of the officers. As he climbed into the second vehicle, shots were fired, and Porter managed to drive away again, only to crash a short distance away. By the end of the incident, 11 officers had discharged their weapons, with Porter being hit once.

While initial reports from Maine State Police spokesperson Shannon Moss stated that “officers confronted Porter and gunfire was exchanged,” further details about the confrontation, including whether Porter was armed or fired a weapon, were not released. The extent of Porter’s injuries was also not disclosed, although it was confirmed that he had been shot, treated, and released from the hospital.

Porter was scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Wednesday via video conference from the Cumberland County Jail. However, his defense argued that medication had left him incoherent and unable to keep his eyes open. His attorney, Justin Leary, reiterated on Friday that Porter was not mentally prepared to face a judge. A mental examination was requested, and Porter is due back in court on May 15.

The incident, captured on video by a bystander, showed a dramatic roadside confrontation. The video shows Porter, still handcuffed and in a hospital gown, ignoring officers’ commands and climbing into an SUV left with its driver’s door open. As he drove away, more shots were fired. Following the incident, all 11 officers involved were placed on administrative leave, a standard practice in Maine after the use of deadly force.

The incident marked the largest number of police officers discharging their weapons in a single event in recent memory in the state, according to Brian MacMaster, a retired investigator for the attorney general’s office.