The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office says a deputy used a Taser on a Sebago man at his home Wednesday night after he became increasingly aggressive, but the man disputes that account and says authorities overreacted.

Authorities say Victor Berge, 48, pulled the Taser probes out of his chest and continued to challenge the deputies, who were responding to a report of domestic violence. Sgts. Josh Potvin and David Hall grabbed Berge and arrested him after a brief struggle, according to the sheriff’s office.

The deputies went to Berge’s home at 884 Peabody Pond Road to check on a 911 hang-up call. On their way, authorities say, they learned that a woman had reported that her husband, Berge, was intoxicated and threatening suicide, and had fired a gun in the home.

Berge allegedly was refusing to allow his wife and their 5-year-old daughter to leave the home.

Soon after the deputies arrived, Berge came out of the house and refused to submit to arrest, according to the sheriff’s office. The office said that the deputies didn’t know whether Berge was armed, and that his aggressive behavior escalated. Potvin used his Taser to stun Berge.

Berge was charged with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, domestic violence terrorizing and refusing to submit to arrest and detention. He was released on $2,500 cash bail.

Berge, contacted after his release from the Cumberland County Jail on Thursday afternoon, said he had accidentally fired a weapon while putting it away.

He said that his wife had called police back to explain what happened, and that the 911 operator told him that deputies were on their way and wanted to talk to him.

Berge said the operator told him to go outside. Berge said he didn’t see or hear the deputies.

Berge, who said his work in sawmills has left him with hearing loss, said the volume on the phone was turned up and rain was making noise on the metal roof of his house.

Berge said a light was suddenly shining into his face and he was hit with the Taser.

“It’s like you’re being hit by a baseball bat, but you don’t know what happened. It was dark. I never saw a cop or a Taser,” he said.

Berge denied being intoxicated or suicidal, and said he was not keeping his wife and daughter from leaving the house. He said he has results of a Breathalyzer test that prove he was not intoxicated, but he would not elaborate on how he came to take the test. He said he did not pull out the Taser probes, which were removed by EMS technicians.

Berge said he could not talk about everything that happened. He said he has talked to a lawyer and more details will come out in court. His wife, Lori Berge, could not be reached for comment.

The sheriff’s office said deputies found several firearms around the home, in what appeared to be anticipation of a possible standoff with deputies. Capt. Jeff Davis of the Patrol Division said the firearms were placed near doors and windows.

Berge said there are four firearms around his house, including one by the bed and one above a door. He said they are there, in part, because his wife wants to feel protected while he is traveling for work.

 

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

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