WATERVILLE — A Waterville man with a history of convictions was arrested early Friday morning after police said he encouraged his two pitbull dogs to attack a police officer.

Brian Charette, 33, was arrested at 12:17 a.m. on Water Street and the officer used pepper spray on the man and the dogs, preventing the attack, according to Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey of the Waterville police.

Officer Andrew McMullen first tried to approach Charette, of 151 Water St., because he was a suspect in an assault reported earlier that day on Water Street, Rumsey said.

When McMullen found Charette on the sidewalk near where the assault was reported, McMullen ordered him to stop, but Charette continued to walk away and made a comment about how the two pitbulls he was walking would bite McMullen, Rumsey said.

McMullen continued to approach Charette, who, Rumsey said, then lunged at McMullen and pushed the dogs forward at the officer. Rumsey said McMullen was concerned for his safety because of the earlier remark Charette made and he used pepper spray on Charette and his dogs.

Rumsey said McMullen took the leashes from Charette and gave the dogs to a neighbor who was nearby.

Charette was charged with attempted aggravated assault, assault, refusing to submit to arrest and violating a condition of release.

Charette had been arrested a dozen times in the past 15 years, according to Morning Sentinel archives, including in May 2010.

During that incident, the Maine State Police Tactical Team responded to his home in Smithfield, where he lived at the time, after he threatened his neighbors with knives. Charette was convicted later in Somerset Superior Court for misdemeanor criminal threatening and served a seven-day jail sentence.

In 2004, he was sentenced to five years in prison for terrorizing, criminal speeding and theft while he was on probation for robbery and assault charges. He also has served a handful of brief jail sentences during the past 15 years, ranging from 30 days to 48 hours, for crimes including violating a protective order, disorderly conduct and violating a condition of release.

Kaitlin Schroeder — 861-9252
kschroeder@mainetoday.com