PORTLAND – Police arrested a 30-year-old man Friday and charged him with making a false report and triggering a two-hour search and lockdown of an East End neighborhood.

Police said Christopher Sanborn of Gorham called a crisis hotline at 12:25 p.m. and said he was hiding in the brush on the Eastern Promenade, ready to shoot himself and any police officers who approached. He said he was an Iraq war veteran upset about a breakup with his girlfriend and that he was armed and dressed in camouflage.

“He said he was willing to kill any police officers he had contact with,” said Acting Police Chief Michael Sauschuck.

The call was reported to police, who blocked off several streets around the Eastern Prom and set up a command center at the East End Community School on North Street.

People were advised to leave the park on the prom, but police did not evacuate any homes in the surrounding neighborhood.

While officers searched that area, other officers detained Sanborn in the Riverton section of Portland several miles away. Police said Sanborn at first claimed to be a representative of the military who knew the caller.

Officers became suspicious of inconsistent statements, police said, and a review of Sanborn’s cell phone records showed that he made the original crisis call to the hotline.

Sanborn was not armed, has no military connection and appears to have fabricated the whole report, police said.

He was arrested on Forest Avenue at the Westbrook city line. He is charged with filing a false public report, creating a police standoff and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon. 

Staff Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 791-6324 or at:

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