Gary Porter, Fired Upon by 11 Police Officers, 'Mentally Incompetent' to Stand Trial

Garry Porter from the US state of Maine crashed a stolen police car and then stole another and then crashed it too, all while he was handcuffed, he will not be able to attend today's trial because he cannot speak clearly and is not mentally capable

by Sededin Dedovic
Gary Porter, Fired Upon by 11 Police Officers, 'Mentally Incompetent' to Stand Trial
© NEWS CENTER Maine / YOutube channel

Gary Porter from the American state of Maine, who crashed a stolen police vehicle, survived gunfire from 11 police officers, and then escaped in another police vehicle, which he also wrecked - all while wearing handcuffs and a hospital gown - is currently not in a mental state to appear before a judge, his lawyer said tonight.

The chaotic chain of events involving at least five security units began on Monday when Gary Porter, already wanted for theft, was found in someone's chicken coop in an unconscious state, so he was arrested and taken to the hospital for evaluation, the police said.

Then Mike Daly, the police chief of the small town of Paris, drove him in a van to the prison, and just as he got out of the vehicle to escort him to the cell, Porter moved his handcuffed hands from behind his back to the front and then shifted to the driver's seat.

He started the van, and Sheriff Daly jumped onto the footboard next to the van door in an attempt to stop him, but he was thrown to the ground, and Porter drove away, authorities said. This was followed by a pursuit involving police officers from the towns of Norway, Oxford, and Paris, as well as sheriff's deputies and the Maine State Police, all taking place in the rural part of this state, about fifty kilometers from Portland.

Eventually, they scattered metal spikes on the road that punctured the van's tires, causing Porter to lose control of the vehicle and veer into a ditch. A passerby managed to capture at least part of the gunfire on camera as it unfolded on the fugitive, showing Porter, still handcuffed, circling the wrecked van and jumping into another police vehicle - in plain view of the police.

As shots rang out, he, with his back turned to the police, started the car and fled again. The footage shows him wildly swerving and accelerating. According to authorities, Porter crashed again nearby. One witness stated that the events unfolded so quickly, akin to the popular video game Grand Theft Auto, but afterwards, the police managed to "resolve" the case.

11 law enforcement fired weapon at suspect in Oxford County© NEWS CENTER Maine / Youtube channel

In the end, as many as 11 police officers fired their weapons, and Porter was hit only once. It was not said whether any police officer was injured in the shooting.

However, unofficial information suggests that there were no serious injuries to police officers; nonetheless, an official police statement should be awaited. It is unknown whether Porter fired at the police and whether he had a firearm on him.

Shannon Moss, a spokeswoman for the Maine State Police, initially stated, without delving into details, that "police officers engaged with Porter and there was an exchange of gunfire." The statement was issued on behalf of all security units involved in the pursuit.

However, the units did not clarify the key details of the conflict, so it is unknown whether Porter had a weapon on him and whether he fired. Neither was it announced how serious the fugitive's injuries are. In this regard, only the Maine Attorney General's Office announced today that Porter was shot, treated, and discharged from the hospital.

He was supposed to appear in court on Wednesday for double theft, assaulting a police officer, escaping from custody, evading the police, and violating bail rules, but his defense stated that due to the medication Porter received, he now mumbles incoherently and cannot keep his eyes open.

A new opportunity for appearing in court was today, but Porter still wasn't able to stand before the judge. "I wouldn't say he's in a mental state to appear now," said his lawyer. A mental health check has been requested, so the next court appearance is scheduled for May 15.

All 11 police officers who fired at Porter have been sent on leave by order of their superiors, which is standard procedure in Maine when an officer uses a firearm. The leave lasts for a month, followed by an assessment of fitness for further duty.

A month's leave is a key practice in many police departments across the United States after incidents in which police officers are forced to use firearms, especially in situations such as killings or serious shootings. This time allows police authorities to carefully review the incident, investigate all circumstances that led to the use of firearms and this time they will have a lot of work as as many as 11 police officers used firearms.

This is the largest number of police officers who have fired in the same incident in Maine in recent times, said retired state prosecutor Brian MacMaster, whose career began back in 1969.