PORTLAND — A Cumberland resident whose home has been the subject of numerous complaints about animals has sued the town and Police Chief Joseph Charron, alleging that they have harassed him based on his ethnicity or race.

In the complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Joseph Sanchez said the harassment includes:

Potentially more than 100 police visits to his home since 2008.

Late-night visits, including one that involved knocking on his bedroom window at 3 a.m.

Officers approaching with their hands on their guns in a “menacing manner.”

Police encouraging neighbors to keep logs of his behavior, including when he turns his bathroom light on and off.

Sanchez also accuses Charron of destroying or hiding records, seizing evidence from his property without a warrant and refusing to issue summonses to people who have acted unlawfully toward him.

Sanchez, a lawyer who is representing himself in the lawsuit, argues that the town and the police chief violated his constitutional right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

Sanchez, who has a practice in Great Neck, N.Y., did not describe his ethnicity in the complaint filed Friday. But in a letter to Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson, he asserts that the town has different standards for white people and Hispanics.

Sanchez is asking the court to remove or rescind all fines and records that resulted from the defendants’ alleged illegal practices and policies, and award him costs related to the litigation.

Sanchez has a farm in a rural zone that backs up to a denser, residential area. According to the complaint, his neighbors began making insulting comments about his farming practices and cursing him in Spanish around 2008. He wrote that he didn’t respond to them and that neighbors began calling the town and police to go to his home.

He argues that the neighbors’ complaints had no merit and that the majority of the summonses issued to him have been dismissed.

Charron said he is not concerned about Sanchez’s lawsuit but declined to comment further.

“I promise you the police have not singled him out,” said Town Attorney Kenneth Cole.

Sanchez did not return a call seeking comment Monday.

Town records show 72 calls for service to Sanchez’s home at 24 Amanda’s Way since 2007. In 52 cases, the reason was listed as “animal complaint.” There was also one call each for barking dog, dog bite, dog at large, and dangerous dog at large.

The animal complaints were about working dogs on the farm, though Sanchez more recently brought sheep onto an adjoining property at 255 Main St., according to Town Manager William Shane.

On Monday, a motorist told police that sheep were outside the fence and could wander into the road. An officer helped the farmhand put the sheep back.

“We’re just responding to calls. We really are,” Shane said.

Sanchez has sought information about himself and his neighbors from Anderson, School Administrative District 51, which employs one of his neighbors, and the town through the Maine Freedom of Access Act.

He also sued the town and Charron in Cumberland County Superior Court, alleging violations of the Freedom of Access Act. The lawsuit was dismissed without any objection from him last month. According to a document in the case, the town has more than 5,000 pages of documents, including communication with neighbors, about him and his property.

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: AnnKimPPH