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Criminal Mischief (02/26/2020)

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New Bangor jail plans on hold

BANGOR (AP) — Plans for a new jail in Maine are on hold in the wake of criticism from the public about a plan for an eight-story, 250-bed facility that some feared would have altered the Bangor skyline.

Commissioners in Penobscot County decided to pause the planning process after residents voiced concerns about the height and size of the facility, the Bangor Daily News reported. That means commissioners won’t put a referendum on the June ballot asking voters to fund the project, which was estimated to cost $65 to $70 million.

The facility would’ve been more than 116,000 square feet and it would’ve taken the place of a former YMCA building in Bangor’s downtown.

Penobscot County Commissioner Chairman Peter Baldacci said commissioners would see if the height of the project could be reduced. However, commissioners aren’t considering other sites for the facility, he said.

Man arrested after locking couple inside their home

MASARDIS (AP) — An Aroostook County man accused of pouring gasoline on a couple’s front door and later locking them inside their home has been arrested.

Brandon Saucier, 36, of Ashland, faces charges of criminal restraint and terrorizing, State Police Cpl. Dennis Quint said.

Officers responded to a home in Masardis on Friday to investigate a complaint that someone had placed a padlock on the front door, Quint said.

The couple initially thought the door was stuck because of an accumulation of ice and snow. They realized the door had been locked shut after contacting a neighbor for help, who used bolt cutters to remove the lock.

An investigation revealed that someone had poured gasoline on the couple’s front door and left the can on their steps about a week before, Quint said.

Saucier is being held at the Aroostook County jail. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance this week.

A court clerk says he has no attorney.

Trooper escapes injury following traffic stop crash

TURNER - A State Trooper escaped injury and there was minor damage to his cruiser after the cruiser was sideswiped in Turner by a van.  The driver of the van was cited for failing to move over for an emergency vehicle. 

Trooper Connor Willard was at roadside with the cruiser’s emergency lights activated as he was conducting a traffic stop of a car along Route 4 on Feb. 17. As the trooper was inside the cruiser completing paperwork, he heard the impact of a minivan as it scraped alongside his cruiser. The impact dislodged the van’s passenger side mirror. The occupants of the van and the car the trooper had stopped were not injured. The name of the van’s driver was not immediately available.  

Maine law requires motorists to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles at roadside where emergency lights have been activated and that includes police, fire, ambulance and tow trucks. 

Rumford Police posted about the incident on their Facebook page the next morning:

“This is a simple stretch of road, not unique or unlike many others. Yesterday on this stretch of road a Maine State Trooper was struck by a driver while he was on a traffic stop. I’m told the trooper will be fine. He was struck because a driver failed to slow down...failed to move over...failed to allow him to safely do his job. Please remember, whether it’s a police officer, ambulance personnel, fire personnel, or a tow truck operator...the law states you MUST slow down, you MUST move over for safe passing. YOU as the driver are responsible. If you fail to do so you may get ticketed, but more importantly you may injure or kill someone.”

Two dead in separate snowmobile crashes

RANGELEY (AP) — The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says two people were killed in separate snowmobile crashes.

The Friday fatalities bring to six the number of people who have died in snowmobile crashes in Maine during the current winter season.

The first fatality was reported around 11 a.m. Friday in Rangeley when a 41-year-old Pennsylvania woman who was operating the snowmobile on the Bald Mountain Camps Trail failed to negotiate a turn. The victim, whose name has not been released, died at the scene of the crash.

Investigators say operator inexperience may have been a contributing factor to the crash.

The second fatality was reported just before noon on Friday south of Baxter State Park on the Interconnecting Trail System about 3.5 miles East of Abol Bridge.

Alan Paquette, 55, from Ashburnham, Massachusetts, was killed when he failed to negotiate a turn and collided with several trees.

Game wardens say unfamiliarity with the trail and speed likely contributed to the crash.

Last modified on Wednesday, 26 February 2020 07:35

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