Cops: Teen prison escapees crash SUV after chase

Good evening from the BDN Portland office on Congress Street. The First Friday Art Walk is tonight. Here’s the schedule. And if you’re still wondering what to do this weekend, here are Kathleen Pierce’s recommendations.  

What we’re talking about

Cops: Teen prison escapees crash SUV after chase — Here’s Nick McCrea’s report on today’s wild story:

Three 18-year-olds who escaped from the Long Creek detention center camping outing are in custody after they stole an SUV and later crashed it during a police pursuit, according to police.

The teens, Jesse James Ramsdell of Acton, Christopher Harmon of Sanford and Jonathan Vasselian of Sumner, were among six Long Creek Youth Development Center residents staying at Stratton Brook Hut in Carrabassett Valley as part of a camping excursion overseen by a pair of Long Creek staffers.

Early Friday morning, the trio stole cash and wine from the huts before taking off in a Nissan SUV stolen from a home near the huts, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

The SUV was spotted in Falmouth later that morning, leading to a pursuit. Police say Ramsdell was driving.

“Troopers attempted to stop the vehicle after it went through the Maine Mall exit, and it began to take off,” McCausland said. “Attempting to end the pursuit before the SUV got into a heavily populated area, troopers performed a PIT maneuver, which brought the chase to an end.”

The vehicle struck a snowbank and flipped over. The teens inside were wearing seat belts and weren’t injured, according to police.

Maine Med ran out of space this week — The Press Herald’s Peter McGuire reports that the hospital had to turn away some (non-emergency) ambulance patients because it ran out of beds briefly this week:

Although patient diversions lasted less than 24 hours, a limited number of beds at the hospital’s Portland campus is a chronic challenge, according to hospital officials.

Maine Medical Center plans a five-year, $512 million expansion at its Portland campus that will increase the number of single-bed rooms and provide greater flexibility during periods of high demand.

Last year was another record for lobster hauls — “The dockside value of statewide landings of lobster jumped by more than $30 million in 2016, hitting a record level of $533 million,” Bill Trotter reports.

Troy Bennett does not squander his weekends — But he has a confession to make: Instead of braving the elements in a tent or hammock, he found solace in a cabin last weekend:

I went “glamping” last weekend. I stayed in a log cabin with central heat and running water.

I’m so ashamed. It had a TV and a coffee maker, too.

I’m the guy who sleeps out in all kinds of weather. In 2013, I rode my motorcycle through a blizzard, sleeping under 28 inches of snow. A few years later, I survived night-time temperatures hovering around 15 below. Last month, I slept on a frozen pond. Once, as a kid, in 1985, I camped through a hurricane with the Boy Scouts.

But I’m not sure any of that means anything anymore. I may have ruined it, bringing my 40-year run to an end.

Man pleads guilty to murder in Old Port shooting — WMTW reports that Gang Deng Majok pleaded guilty for his role in the 2015 shooting at Da Block, a Fore Street music studio.

Jake Bleiberg reported last month that Majok was also named in a lawsuit as the shooter in the unsolved shooting outside Sangillo’s Tavern the year before.

Tweet of the day

From the Pope (yep, that Pope):

Screenshot 2017-03-03 17.08.39

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Got any interesting story ideas, suggestions or links to share? Email Dan MacLeod at dmacleod@bangordailynews.com, or tweet @dsmacleod.

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Dan MacLeod

About Dan MacLeod

Dan MacLeod is the editor of BDN Portland. He's an Orland native who first moved to Portland in 2002. He's been a journalist since 2008, and previously worked for the New York Post and the Brooklyn Paper.