The University of Southern Maine student who is accused of holding off police for four hours in a fraternity house next to USM’s Gorham campus “leveled” a .45-caliber pistol at a fraternity brother’s face without saying a word before the building was evacuated, according to a police report released Friday.
The report is one of several documents that were made public as Alan-Michael Santos, 23, of Winchester, Mass., made his first appearance in Cumberland County Unified Criminal Court since his arrest late Wednesday night, when he surrendered to police.
The standoff shut down the portion of downtown Gorham around the fraternity house. The house was evacuated, and police called in the Cumberland County Tactical Team and cleared businesses in the area.
Santos said nothing at Friday’s brief hearing. His attorney, Kristine Hanly, spoke on his behalf, denying a civil charge of creating a police standoff.
Santos also faces three felony charges: terrorizing, criminal threatening with a firearm, and reckless conduct with a firearm, each punishable by as much as five years in prison. He is not required to enter pleas to those charges before the case is presented to a grand jury.
Justice John O’Neil ordered Santos held on $10,000 cash bail, with conditions that he not use drugs or alcohol or possess dangerous weapons. Santos also was ordered to stay away from the USM campus and its fraternity and sorority houses. He was released Friday evening.
Santos’ family members who attended the hearing declined to comment as they left the courthouse.
Santos, a junior majoring in business marketing, had been drinking before the standoff Wednesday and appeared “very intoxicated” when he met a friend from the Sigma Nu fraternity for dinner at Thatcher’s, a restaurant across the street from the fraternity house, according to an affidavit filed by Gorham Detective Sgt. Dana Thompson. The friend, Kristian Foster, 22, told police that Santos acted “paranoid” and seemed to be looking for a fight.
When they returned to the fraternity house, Santos immediately went to his room upstairs. Foster talked to other fraternity brothers and then went to check on Santos in his room, according to Thompson’s report.
“Foster opened the bedroom door and saw Santos standing in the bedroom with (a) Ruger .45 semi-automatic handgun leveled at Foster’s face,” Thompson said in the affidavit, which he filed seeking a warrant to search the fraternity house on Thursday morning. “Nothing was said and Foster immediately closed the door and left the area. Foster warned all the residents and guests and they evacuated the building.”
Foster then went back to Santos’ bedroom and found him lying in bed with the gun beside him. Santos gave the gun to Foster, then Foster then gave it back when Santos demanded it, the report says.
“Foster pleaded with him to come downstairs but Santos refused,” Thompson said in the affidavit. “Santos stood in the bedroom with the weapon down by his side, his finger was in the trigger guard and he was rocking back and forth.”
Foster got nervous, left and had another student call police around 7:10 p.m., the affidavit says. Gorham police and officers from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office surrounded the house, restricted access to the area and began negotiating with Santos, who had barricaded himself in his room.
Santos surrendered to police at 11:34 p.m. Nobody was injured.
Police searched the fraternity house Thursday and seized the Ruger, a Taurus .357-caliber revolver, various bullets and marijuana, according to the search warrant receipt. They did not find any other guns.
Santos was not prohibited from owning a firearm and has no known criminal history, police said.
Santos will likely be disciplined by the fraternity and USM. Bob Caswell, the university’s director of public affairs, said Friday that no decision has been made on whether the fraternity will face sanctions.
“The first concern is for our student life folks to stay in touch with the members of Sigma Nu to see if they need anything, if there’s any assistance we can provide,” Caswell said.
– Staff Writer David Hench contributed to this report.
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