All it took was the offer of a soda, chocolate milk, a pizza, and assurances that he would not be harmed to persuade a man charged with invading a Buxton woman’s home to surrender to police Sunday night.

Michael Crockett Jr., 30, of Buxton had been living in the woods for several days, said William L. King Jr., chief deputy of the York County Sheriff’s Office.

When Crockett was taken into custody, officers reported that he was covered with ticks and mosquito bites, was unshaven, and was thirsty and hungry.

Deputies removed the ticks and King and Amy Fairfield, Crockett’s attorney, provided the refreshments.

King gave Crockett a Mountain Dew and a chocolate milk – terms of his surrender deal – and Fairfield ordered a pizza.

“He didn’t look like the North Woods hermit, but he was pretty dirty and grimy,” King said late Sunday.

On April 11, police were called to the Buxton home of 60-year-old Deborah Nielson to investigate a break-in. Nielson told police that she had interrupted three people who were stealing things from her house. She was tied up and assaulted by the trio, who took cash and fled. She suffered facial bruises and cuts. Nielson offered a $500 reward for information leading to their arrest and conviction.

Last Thursday, Buxton police arrested Stacey Day, 35, of Buxton and charged her with robbery and aggravated assault in the case. Also arrested was Gregory Hoar, 29, of Gorham, who also was charged with robbery and aggravated assault. Both suspects are being held at the York County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Police then issued an arrest warrant for Crockett, charging him with robbery and aggravated assault.

Crockett’s attorney contacted King on Sunday and inquired about the possibility of arranging for Crockett to peacefully surrender to authorities.

King agreed and negotiated the terms by talking directly to Crockett on the telephone. But Crockett had a couple of demands before he was going to turn himself in. He wanted a Mountain Dew and a chocolate milk.

“He understood that this was the best way to get out of this (situation),” King said.

Sgt. Steve Thistlewood and Deputy Thomas Searway, both of the York County Sheriff’s Office, were dispatched to the Maine Department of Transportation building on Cumberland Street in Cornish around 8:30 p.m. Sunday.

Thistlewood said Crockett walked out of the woods with his hands in the air.

“He would only say he had been out there for several days,” Thistlewood said.

The deputies drove him back to a convenience store in Cornish, where King fulfilled his part of the bargain.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

dhoey@pressherald.com