Fryeburg police are seeking the public’s help in finding a man who walked into a local pet grooming business Tuesday with a pregnant dog, then beat the owner with a statue and stabbed her with cutting shears.
He also robbed the owner, fleeing with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.
Police said the assault occurred with the owner’s 2-year-old daughter in an adjacent room. The girl was not harmed.
The owner of Creature Comforts, at 169 Lovewell Pond Road, was taken by ambulance to Bridgton Hospital. She was treated there and released.
Contacted at her home Tuesday night, she said she did not want to be identified but was doing OK after being treated by doctors. “I am stitched up and banged up but doing well,” she said.
She said her attacker smelled of “gas and alcohol” and his teeth were “rotting.”
Fryeburg police Sgt. Joshua Potvin said the man walked into Creature Comforts around 11:30 a.m. carrying a pregnant dog wrapped in a dirty blue blanket. He told the owner that he needed help delivering the dog’s puppies.
“I thought he needed my help, but then things started to get weird,” the owner said.
When she started to use the business phone to call a veterinarian, the man made a reference about not wanting to go back to jail.
Potvin said the man “became enraged” and began to hit the woman with a statue that was on a shelf in the store.
The business owner pulled out a pair of cutting shears in an attempt to defend herself but was disarmed by the man, who began to “stab her repeatedly,” Potvin said.
Police said the woman temporarily lost consciousness while suffering cuts and bruises.
The man removed cash from her purse and donations that had been left in a countertop jar for animal-rescue purposes.
Police described the man as being in his late 20s or early 30s, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and wearing a camouflage baseball cap.
They said he had a missing tooth on the lower right side of his mouth and “severe acne.” He was wearing a green, canvas-style barn coat and black winter gloves.
“This is a senseless crime that happened to a citizen who was just trying to help a stranger in need,” Potvin said in a written statement. “The robbery appears to be a crime of convenience after the assault occurred. The condition of the (pregnant) dog is unknown.”
Fryeburg police, with assistance from the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, developed a composite sketch of the suspect. Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact Potvin at 935-3323.
Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: