Published Date Written by David CarkhuffA South Portland Police officer used a Taser to subdue a suspect in a vehicle theft Tuesday night; the suspect, Vaughn Scott, is the same man who was arrested in early May for stealing a van and leading Portland police on an accident-riddled car chase through Portland's streets, police here reported.
Scott, a 35-year-old man listed by police as a transient, was discovered around 8 p.m. Tuesday, when officers were dispatched to an area behind a shopping plaza at 425 Western Avenue for a reported Jeep in a ditch.
Officer Rocco Navarro was the first officer to arrive, and he found "an apparently intoxicated male subject in the passenger compartment of the Jeep," reported South Portland Police Lt. Frank Clark. "The Jeep was quickly determined to have been one stolen out of Portland that officers had been searching for earlier in the same shift."
As Navarro approached, Scott reached for a backpack on the ground nearby, but Navarro kicked the bag away and attempted to have the male cooperate and submit to arrest, Clark reported. Scott refused and aggressively pushed and grabbed the officer by the shirt and gun belt, Clark reported. An altercation then ensued, leading up to the officer ultimately deploying a Taser and being able to take Scott into custody. Backup units arrived a short tine later.
Scott was arrested and transported to the Cumberland County Jail, where he remains, facing charges of felony theft, related to the stolen vehicle, and felony assault, for his assault against the police officer, Clark reported. The case has been referred to the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office for prosecution.
South Portland police noted that Scott carries a long criminal history.
"Scott's criminal history includes convictions for burglary to a motor vehicle, assaults, aggravated assault, assault on an officer, and eluding the police," reported Clark.
Portland police encountered Scott in early May, when he was arrested and charged with numerous offenses, in the wake of a police pursuit through Portland, according to then-Portland police spokesman Lt. Gary Rogers.
Portland Police Officer James Keddy was patrolling on Grant Street in his cruiser when he noticed a VW van drive by that had a loud exhaust and expired registration. Keddy activated his lights and siren, and the vehicle then accelerated instead of slowing down. During the pursuit, dispatchers were putting out an attempt to locate report for a stolen car. The van went down Parris Street and was being operated in such a reckless manner that Officer Keddy broke off his pursuit, police reported.
The van rear-ended a vehicle after someone stopped for a crossing pedestrian. Other witnesses were calling police, saying the van had been seen traveling the wrong way on Elm Street. Scott then drove into the parking lot at Whole Foods, where he hit another car and then fled on foot, police said.
Officer Keddy was driving around the area, and spotted Scott walking on Franklin Street arterial, where he was arrested. At that time it was discovered that the van had been stolen, police said.
The charges racked up by Scott during the Portland episode, police said, included two of leaving the scene of an accident because he hit two cars in two separate incidents; operating under the influence; operating after suspension; driving to endanger; failure to stop for a police officer; and theft by unauthorized use of property because the vehicle he was driving had been stolen.
South Portland's Lt. Clark said South Portland Police officers must report all uses of force and control, including any Taser deployments. Clark noted that officers there have filed 77 use of force and control reports so far this year, and four of those involved Taser deployments, including the incident on Tuesday involving Scott.