Man driving borrowed SUV charged with leaving scene of rollover
Belfast — A Belfast man who reportedly sped away from a local bar upon sight of a police officer, rolled the vehicle he was driving and then fled the scene on foot is facing a charge of leaving the scene of a property damage accident.
Anthony M. Littlefield, 32, of Belfast, incurred the charge after Belfast Officer Travis Spencer, who was headed to a separate complaint at Bowen's Tavern, grew suspicious of a red SUV that quickly left the establishment just as the officer was arriving early Saturday morning, Feb. 22.
Belfast Detective Sgt. Bryan Cunningham said Spencer saw the red Mitsubishi SUV leaving the parking lot and turned around to pursue the vehicle as it traveled toward Shepard Road.
"It was gone," said Cunningham of the vehicle.
After driving on Shepard Road, Spencer was unable to spot the SUV so he turned around to head back toward Bowen's Tavern. Then, as Spencer drove back down Shepard Road, Cunningham said the officer saw the SUV, which had rolled onto its roof and was positioned in the ditch.
"There was nobody around the vehicle," said Cunningham. "They went into the woods to see if they could find anybody, but they didn't."
Then Belfast Fire Chief Jim Richards arrived on scene and informed officers that he had just seen a man walking toward Bowen's Tavern, and Cunningham said officers went in that directions and found that individual, who was later identified as Littlefield.
Cunningham said Littlefield did not deny he was driving the vehicle when police asked him about the accident, and said he was not the registered owner of the vehicle. The vehicle owner, Sarah Lawler-Stoddard, told police when they went to her residence that Littlefield had her permission to use the SUV on the night of the crash.
Littlefield is scheduled to appear at Fifth District Court in Belfast Tuesday, April 22.