The man at the center of a contentious sexual abuse controversy in Biddeford has apologized and vowed to stay away from city meetings, after a City Council session Monday night that was adjourned after only 19 minutes because of his outbursts.

The council meeting, which was called to discuss how to handle public comments during meetings, ended abruptly after Matthew Lauzon ignored repeated requests to stop yelling from his seat in the audience. It was the latest display of discord since Lauzon went public in February with allegations that he was sexually abused by a now-retired Biddeford police officer, triggering a series of tense and emotional meetings.

Lauzon’s allegations, which are being investigated by the Maine Attorney General’s Office, sparked a public outcry among a group of supporters who now regularly attend council meetings to demand that councilors suspend the police chief and to advocate for a change in city leadership.

On Monday, councilors were discussing when to hold the public comment portion of the meetings, a period of time when members of the public can address the council on any topic they choose. The council had previously moved the public comment period from the beginning of its meetings to the end, because the sessions had become long and city business was being delayed, as Lauzon and his supporters repeatedly pressed the council for action on the sexual abuse complaints. As councilors discussed various schedule options Monday night, Lauzon began yelling comments at Mayor Alan Casavant and Councilor Marc Lessard.

Casavant repeatedly pounded the gavel, called Lauzon out of order and asked him to be quiet. The council took two brief recesses before voting 5-3 to adjourn when Lauzon refused to stop interrupting Lessard. Councilors Bob Mills, Roger Hurtubise and Michael Swanton voted against adjourning. Councilor Michael Ready was not at the meeting.

“The conduct of individuals was deplorable and a continuation of what’s been going on for weeks,” Casavant said Tuesday. “The city must be allowed to do its business. It’s clear to me the whole intent last night was to disrupt and hijack the meeting.”

In a letter addressed to Casavant and city councilors and posted Tuesday on Facebook, Lauzon said he watched a recording of the meeting Tuesday morning and was “truly ashamed of the way that I acted.”

“It was childish and I got triggered and let my emotions get the best of me,” he wrote.

Lauzon said in an interview he will not attend upcoming city meetings because he has post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the abuse he suffered as a teenager, which makes it difficult for him to control his emotions at times. He said he will not stop pushing for Police Chief Roger Beaupre to be put on administrative leave because Beaupre was in charge of the police department when the alleged abuse occurred.

The City Council passed a resolution June 8 saying it had no evidence of wrongdoing by Beaupre to support putting him on leave.

City Council President John McCurry, who had requested the special meeting, said outbursts like the one Monday distract the council from doing its business.

“I think it was a shame,” he said. “I believe people have a right to speak, but there is a time, place and decorum for everything.”

Under council rules, citizens are not allowed to make comments that are slanderous, abusive or “not in accord with good order and decorum.” Anyone who violates those rules can be ejected from the meeting after a warning from the presiding officer. Casavant, who as mayor presides over council meetings, did not eject Lauzon, but instead called for two recesses before councilors voted to adjourn the meeting completely.

Lessard, the councilor who was yelled at by Lauzon, said it is unfortunate that people would intentionally disrupt a meeting and “not allow the city officials to do their work on behalf of the citizens.”

“We have rules and guidelines for how the meeting is to take place,” he said. “We (councilors) follow them at every meeting and we’re looking for other people to follow the decorum for the meetings.”

Mills, who voted against adjourning the meeting, said he believes the council could have regained control of the meeting after a long recess.

“With an elected body, there’s going to be a peanut gallery screaming and yelling,” he said. “You still need to be capable of doing your business. If you can’t, you probably shouldn’t be an elected official.”

McCurry said he does not plan to schedule another meeting to talk about the scheduling of public comments, which will continue to be heard at the end of council meetings.