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2016 Crimees

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Writing the police beat is always a mixed bag of sadness, absurdity and humor. At the end of the year, we take a look back and pull from the files the best of the worst. We skip over the grim stories and try to find the ones that made us shake our heads or laugh. Names and dates have been removed to let people get on with their lives. And though we will never rise to the heights of hilarity that have graced the Bangor Police Department due to the tender ministrations of Sgt. Tim Cotton, we will always try.

What follows are our 2016 Crimees. Stay out of the Police Beat, kids.

Poop scoop

BANGOR- Bangor Police were called to sort out a very stinky situation. Apparently two neighbors were embroiled in a dispute over dog feces. Since no charges have been filed, the Bangor Police have declined to name names.

The man who called police claimed his neighbor threw dog feces on his porch and door. He then picked up the poop in a plastic bag and dropped it back on her porch, but while he was walking away, she picked up the poop and reportedly threw it at him, at which point he decided to call police.

When police spoke with the woman involved, she claimed that a relative of the male neighbor walks the neighbor's dog past her house and the dog then defecates on her lawn. The woman said she has asked that person to remove the poop. When the dog was walked through her property on that day she again asked the person to clean it up. The person picked up a single piece and continued walking. The woman said she then picked up the remaining pieces that belonged to her neighbor's dog and threw it on her neighbor's porch.

When asked how she knew all of the feces belonged to her neighbor's dog, she claimed she had witnessed it pooping on her lawn on several occasions and she did not own a dog of her own. She then confirmed that he neighbor had thrown the poop back on her porch, but she denied throwing it at him.

She was issued a disorderly conduct warning and was advised on how to pursue the matter through civil channels.

The officer returned to the man's house and explained that he had issued the woman a disorderly conduct warning but would not be pursing criminal charges at this point. The man was not pleased with this.

When the officer attempted to explain that the dog feces was a civil complaint and that he could be fined for not picking up after his dog, the man pointed out that there was no way for the police to know that all of the poop on the lawn belonged to his dog. The officer conceded that they would not be performing DNA tests on all the feces, but that his relative had retrieved a portion of the poop from the lawn, and that by throwing the feces back on his neighbor's lawn he was exacerbating the situation and doing exactly what he claimed his neighbor had done initially. The man claimed it was not the same thing.

The officer issued the man a disorderly conduct warning as well, and cautioned him against throwing more poop or raising voices. The officer also informed the man that he could pursue assault charges if he chose, but that that course of action would also include informing the Bangor Housing Authority of the situation. The man requested to speak with the officer's supervisor and the Housing Authority. The officer gave his business card and said that the man could call his supervisor at any time.

The investigation is currently active, and charges may be pending.

Fire alarms are for fires

BANGOR An area man has gone to jail for reportedly pulling a fire alarm in an apartment building.

Bangor police responded to a residence on First Street because someone had pulled the fire alarm under false pretenses, causing panic. Bangor fire also had to respond to reset the alarm.

When the officer arrived, a man claimed he had been assaulted by a resident and had a broken arm but did not require police involvement. Many other witnesses indicated that that man was upset for other reasons. One man claimed that he was yelling and banging on the door of his apartment earlier in the morning. When the resident opened the door, the suspect reportedly forced his way inside and began yelling and accusing the man of stealing all the paper towels from the communal bathroom. Thinking he was going to be struck, the man pushed him out of his apartment and shut the door, which is when the suspect reportedly pulled the fire alarm before running outside.

The building manager said he had observed the suspect pull the alarm on the security cameras. Once he was medically cleared, the suspect told police that he was assaulted by a heroin addict that 'keeps stealing all the paper towels in the building.' He also said he pulled the fire alarm to get help because a doctor in Boston had once told him to. The suspect told police he did not have a broken arm.

He was arrested and charged with burglary (class B, felony) filing false public report and violation of bail conditions. He was transported to Penobscot county Jail.

Parking while intoxicated is still driving

ORONO A Milford man is facing charges after reportedly parking erratically in Orono.

An Orono police officer observed a vehicle driving erratically while trying to park in a space on Mill Street. The officer spoke with the driver, noted signs of impairment and conducted field sobriety tests. The man did not pass to the officer's satisfaction and was arrested for suspicion of operating under the influence.

Lobster truck crashes, lobsters survive for now

BENTON Lobsters being hauled from Nova Scotia received a brief stay of execution when the truck that was hauling them went off the road.

On March 18, the truck that was loaded with 30,000 pounds of the delicious crustaceans swerved to avoid striking a car that had spun out in front of him. The truck ended up in the median and the driver was not injured. The lobsters survived the calamity and were loaded on other transport vehicles to be distributed to New Hampshire and Rhode Island, where they will no doubt live long and uneventful lives on a farm for lobsters. The southbound lane was closed for the rest of the day and into March 19 while a crane was employed to get the truck upright and the lobsters were loaded onto new trucks.

The driver and his dog stayed at a motel in Waterville. No charges are expected. Police note that both the cab and trailer were likely damaged beyond repair.

Sleep, perchance to jail

GLENBURN An area man is facing charges after being found sleeping in a snowbank in a vehicle that had crashed.

A Penobscot County Deputy was called to a vehicle that had gone off the Hudson Road; the caller believed the driver was intoxicated. While on his way to the scene, the deputy noticed there were multiple locations where it appeared a vehicle had struck the snow bank, causing snow to accumulate in the roadway in an area that Matheson had patrolled recently.

The deputy located a vehicle stuck in a snowbank. It appeared that the vehicle had scraped down the hill before becoming stuck in the snow. At first the deputy thought the vehicle was unoccupied, but as he got closer he saw that there was a man asleep in the vehicle.

The deputy knocked on the window and was able to rouse the man, who was confused as to where he was and told the deputy he thought he was still in Bangor. After administering some sobriety tests, the deputy arrested the man on suspicion of operating under the influence and took him back to the Sherriff's Office for an Intoxilyzer test which showed he was over the legal limit. He was charged with OUI.

Getting plowed

CHESTER A Chester man is facing charges after he allegedly assaulted his neighbor in a dispute over plowing a shared road.

A Penobscot County deputy was called to Chester and spoke with the parties involved. Due to the heated nature of the conflict, the deputy asked one of the men to get into his cruiser so they could drive from the area to avoid further conflict. While en route, the man began to suspect he was going to be placed under arrest, a suspicion that was confirmed by the deputy.

When he was informed he was under arrest, the man reportedly unbuckled his safety belt and jumped from the still-moving vehicle (which had been slowing down for a stop) before fleeing into the woods.

The suspect was located a short time later with assistance from the Maine Warden Service and the Lincoln Police Department and taken into custody.

According to police, the man had reportedly pulled in front of the victim who was plowing, who had to stop to avoid hitting the man's vehicle. The suspect then allegedly exited his vehicle, approached the plow truck and punched the driver.

He was charged with assault and violation of protection order. He was taken to Penobscot County Jail.

Well, aren't you popular

OLD TOWN A vehicle garnered a lot of attention for reportedly being part of a hit and run accident as well as an erratic vehicle before being stopped in Old Town.

Dispatch advised Old Town Police that Penobscot County Deputies were on the lookout for a vehicle missing the passenger side mirror that had been reportedly involved in a hit and run accident.

While looking for the vehicle, dispatch advised the officer of an erratic vehicle complaint on Brunswick Street with a description that matched the vehicle involved in the hit and run. He moved in that direction and saw a vehicle with that same description and registration pull on to Pine Street. He stopped the vehicle and spoke to the driver.

She told the officer that the mirror had been missing 'for a while' and denied being involved in the accident, according to police. The officer learned that the woman's license was suspended and she had bail conditions that included not consuming alcohol.

The woman was arrested for operating after suspension and violation of conditions of release. While placing her in custody, the officer noted the smell of alcohol on her person. He drove her to the police station and was waiting to administer an Intoxilyzer test when she became uncooperative and belligerent and refused to take the test. A Penobscot County deputy arrived and escorted her to Penobscot County Jail.

Seventy-five car pileup, worst chain collision in Maine history

ETNA When all was said and done, 75 vehicles were involved in a chain-reaction pileup on I-95 north, with 17 people hospitalized and 50 vehicles towed. Miraculously, no fatalities occurred.

The accidents started to be phoned in around 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 25. The pileup included several tractor trailers and a school bus and closed the interstate for several hours. The situation was exacerbated by swiftly falling, accumulating snow and low visibility. One of the troopers on scene described the pileup as a giant pile of metal, according to Maine State Police spokesperson, Steve McCausland.

Area hospitals set up emergency units to deal with the influx of patients, but since injuries weren't as severe as initially thought they thankfully didn't have to test their limits.

My gools, 1, 2, 3' not recognized by law enforcement

HERMON An area woman's reported attempt to elude police by racing into her house didn't work as planned.

A Penobscot County Deputy was clearing another traffic stop when he ran the plate of a red Subaru that passed him. The registered owner had an active warrant for failure to pay fines and fees. He attempted to stop the vehicle, but it continued driving, pulling into a driveway, and a female ran inside, ignoring orders to stop and locking the door behind her.

The deputy pounded on the door and informed the woman that if she did not come out he would obtain a search warrant. He also informed her that he would not be leaving.

She eventually surrendered and was placed under arrest and taken to Penobscot County Jail.

Road less traveled not actually a road

OLD TOWN An area man failed to negotiate a curve and was arrested for suspicion of OUI.

An Old Town Police Officer was called to a crash on Gillman Falls. He located a vehicle off the road near Fourth Street and Main Street and spoke with the driver who told police that he thought the road went straight, when it in fact bears right at that point.

The officer administered field sobriety tests, and the driver was arrested for operating under the influence. He was taken to Penobscot County Jail.

Crashing the party

ORONO An Orono man is facing charges after he reportedly climbed onto a moving vehicle and then crashed into the windshield when the driver stopped the car.

Orono police were monitoring a large crowd that gathered at The Grove for an event. A car drove through the area slowly, and a man in the crowd jumped onto the hood of the car and climbed to the roof, according to police. When the driver stopped, the man fell onto the windshield, smashed through and then took off running.

He was pursued by the car's driver, as well as some other passersby. The officers broke up the altercation and when one officer turned to speak to the other, the suspect again took off running. The officer pursued him, took him to the ground and placed him under arrest. He was charged with criminal mischief and failure to submit to arrest.

Police said that there was over $1,000 worth of damage to the vehicle.

Spin me right round

OLD TOWN A man from Richmond, Maine added several charges to the list when he decided, briefly, to flee from police.

An Orono police officer attempted to stop a vehicle after it spun its tires when leaving a party. Officers were approaching the truck when the driver re-started the vehicle and took off. The officers ran back to their vehicle and pursued, and the truck stopped again shortly after. The driver exited the vehicle and put his hands in the air.

He was placed under arrest and charged with refusal to stop for a law enforcement officer, operating under the influence, operating without a license (since the driver was 19 having any alcohol in his system voids his conditional license), attachment of false plates, possession of a usable amount of marijuana and illegal transportation of a liquor by a minor.

Police noted that other passengers in the car advised the driver to stop after he fled.

Where's there's smoke

OLD TOWN A man was charged after he unsuccessfully attempted to discard his drug paraphernalia in the woods.

On Sept 25, around 12:12 a.m., Officer Joshua Tilton checked on a vehicle that was parked off the road on College Ave. When he walked up to the car, there was a man next to the vehicle and he could hear someone moving in the brush. Apparently one of the men had attempted to discard a still-smoking bong.

The officer located that and two other pipes with marijuana residue.

Cactus theft is a thing

OLD TOWN A man is facing charges for reported stealing several odd items whilst intoxicated over the weekend.

On Aug. 16, around 8:41 p.m., Old Town police received the report of a suspicious person who took something from a residence on Franklin Street. The caller followed the man to a residence on Spring Street. Police located and interviewed the man, who was carrying several items that appeared to be construction-related items, which he threw to the ground as the officer approached. Police called the construction workers and confirmed that the items belonged to them. He also made contact with the residents on Franklin Street, who confirmed they were missing items, including a fish bowl and cactus.

The suspect was detained and placed in a cruiser. While waiting for the officer to conduct the investigation, the man slammed his head into the cage of the cruiser, causing him to bleed profusely in the back of the vehicle. He reportedly also spat in the cruiser.

After being cleared medically, he was taken to Penobscot County Jail and charged with theft, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief. The last charge was due to the car needing to be professionally cleaned of the man's blood, thus rendering the cruiser out of service.

Where the wild things are

OLD TOWN An Old Town man is facing charges after he was arrested for violating his bail in an interesting way.

On Oct. 25, Officer John McEwen was called to a residence on Chapman Street for a report of a man who was reportedly crawling on top of cars and growling at the complainant's door.

Police arrested the man, who was described as extremely intoxicated. He had bail conditions that he was found to be in violation of and was placed under arrest and taken to Penobscot County Jail.

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