July 6, 2012

Dispatches

Video from WGME-TV 11 p.m. Thursday newscast

From staff and news services

SOUTH PORTLAND

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Surveillance image of woman police say robbed the TD Bank on Maine Mall Road.

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Kendra Drinkwater, right, her daughter, Sage, 9, and her mother, Paula Marquis of Portland, do some biking Thursday along Back Cove in Portland.

Jill Brady/Staff Photographer

Police say woman wearing Yankees hat robbed bank

Police are looking for a woman in her early to mid-20s who allegedly robbed a bank near the Maine Mall on Thursday night.

Police said a white or Hispanic woman entered the TD Bank on Maine Mall Road at 7 p.m. and robbed the teller. No weapon was shown, but the woman implied that she had one, police said.

The woman left with an undisclosed amount of cash. Police say she got into the passenger side of white SUV parked near Friendly's Ice Cream and was driven away.

The woman was last seen wearing a New York Yankees baseball hat, a gray hooded sweatshirt with GAP written on it, and jeans. She is described as being about 5 feet 2 inches tall, with dark hair and a medium build.

Anyone who may have seen the woman is asked to contact Detective Chris Todd at 799-5511, extension 7448.

SCARBOROUGH

Woman calls 911, rescued after kayak flips in river

A woman whose kayak overturned in the Scarborough River Thursday was rescued after she called for help using her cell phone.

A dispatcher said the woman's kayak got caught in a strong current at around 4:30 p.m. and became pinned against a support for the train trestle used by the Amtrak Downeaster. The current flipped the kayak, but the woman clung to the bridge and used her cell phone to call rescuers.

The woman, whose name was not immediately available, hung on to the support for about 15 minutes until fire crews in two rescue boats reached her. She sustained no injuries and was released at the scene.

CUMBERLAND

Motorcyclist crashes on I-295, is listed in critical condition

A 40-year-old Windham man is in critical condition after crashing Thursday while riding his motorcycle on Interstate 295.

Thomas Thompson was riding his Harley-Davidson in the southbound passing lane at mile 13 in Cumberland when he tried to pass another vehicle by pulling into the travel lane, said Trooper Doug Cropper.

Preliminary investigation indicates Thompson was traveling 74 to 78 mph when he lost control. The motorcycle slid onto its side, he was thrown and the motorcycle went another 408 feet before stopping.

Thompson was not wearing a helmet and suffered severe head injuries, Cropper said. He was taken to Maine Medical Center.

No vehicles were involved in the crash, which closed part of the road for about an hour.

CASCO

Man dies after fighting fire in the garage at his home

Firefighters say a homeowner collapsed and died while trying to extinguish a fire in his garage.

Sgt. Joel Davis of the state Fire Marshal's Office said Paul Soutera, 63, died Thursday morning from an apparent heart attack.

Davis said Soutera dialed 911 when the fire broke out, then woke his wife before going to the garage to try to douse the flames. His wife found him on the front lawn, and he was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Fire Chief Jason Moen said the garage was connected to the home and the garage was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.

PORTLAND

Suspect deemed a juvenile detained after new hearing

A sexual-assault suspect who was deemed a juvenile by a judge appeared at a detention hearing Thursday.

Mohammed Mukhtar initially was charged as an adult with gross sexual assault, burglary and other offenses in a May attack on a 50-year-old woman in an apartment on High Street. The defense argued that he was 17, not 18 as records indicated, because his actual birth date was later than the Jan. 1 date that U.S. government officials often assign Somali refugees.

Superior Court Justice Thomas Warren ruled Monday that the state had not established that Mukhtar is 18. Mukhtar was transferred from the Cumberland County Jail to the Long Creek Youth Development Center after the ruling.

Mukhtar made his first appearance in the case as a juvenile Thursday. Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz determined that there was probable cause to detain him.

Assistant District Attorney Stephen Dassatti said during the hearing that the prosecution will likely try to have Mukhtar tried as an adult. That process requires a hearing before a judge. It has not yet been scheduled.

Man accused of wounding woman with pellet indicted

The Portland man accused of starting a six-hour standoff after shooting a woman with a pellet gun in May has been indicted by a Cumberland County grand jury.

Brian Kelley, 48, faces charges of reckless conduct, aggravated assault and criminal threatening.

Police said Kelley shot a woman from the window of 19 Cedar St. Kelley was arrested after police shot tear gas into the building.

The woman was hospitalized and had to have exploratory surgery, the prosecutor said at the time.

NEWRY

Safety roadblock leads to detainment of N.H. fugitive

A man wanted in New Hampshire for nine years has been caught at a traffic safety roadblock.

The Oxford County Sheriff's Office said deputies set up a roadblock last month to educate motorists about safe driving habits and differences between motor laws in Maine, New Hampshire and Canada. Deputies got suspicious when one vehicle turned around just before the roadblock.

When the car was stopped, a passenger, identified as Jeffrey Dewhurst, 36, fled into the woods. He later turned himself in.

Authorities told the Sun Journal he was wanted on a New Hampshire warrant issued in March 2003 on a charge of failure to appear/habitual offender driving while intoxicated.

Dewhurst was charged with being a fugitive and taken to the Oxford County Jail to await extradition.

OLD ORCHARD BEACH

Police say woman, 24, tried to pass counterfeit $50 bill

Police charged a Rumford woman with forgery after she allegedly used a counterfeit $50 bill to buy gifts.

Police were called Wednesday to Tates gift shop after a worker there suspected that a woman had used a fake bill. Police said they located Randi Theriault, 24, on the pier and found she had four counterfeit bills in her wallet.

Theriault was charged with two counts of aggravated forgery. Bail was set at $660, which she did not have. She was taken to the York County Jail pending a court appearance.

BANGOR

By chance, man recovers brother's treasured medal

An Orono man has recovered the Purple Heart that his brother received for his service in Vietnam more than a decade after it disappeared, thanks to a chance visit to a shop in Bangor.

Army Pvt. Larry Nadeau, who died in January 1966, received the transcribed medal posthumously, and his brother Allen Nadeau treasured it. In 2000, he lent it to the local chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America for an educational display.

Somehow it got lost, and repeated attempts to find it failed.

Allen Nadeau took another shot in January, asking the local chapter's vice president for help. On a whim in June, Ted Pietz stopped in the Maritime International shop in Bangor and asked about the medal.

The store owner had it -- and gladly turned it over to its rightful owner.

Police looking for suspect in stabbing during brawl

Police are seeking a suspect in a stabbing on Main Street during the city's Fourth of July fireworks show.

Police said officers were called about 9:45 p.m. Wednesday to a report of a stabbing. Witnesses told police that two women got into an argument that escalated into a physical altercation with several people involved.

At some point, a third woman intervened and stabbed an 18-year-old woman in the back and neck. A 42-year-old Glenburn resident who stepped in was cut on the hand.

Officials said both victims' injuries were non-life-threatening. The assailant was described as a white woman with a rugged appearance and shoulder-length red, curly hair.

AUBURN

School board member calls for healthier free breakfast

A member of the Auburn School Committee is questioning the district's free breakfast program because she says it offers students too many sugary cereals and insufficient protein.

The program was launched in April with the goal of getting more children to eat breakfast. Experts say students perform and behave better with a full stomach.

Committee member Tracy Levesque said some parents are concerned about the sugary cereals offered, and her son is among the children who eat a healthy breakfast at home and then eat the sweetened cereal at school.

She said that offering more protein would sustain students through lunch. Food Service Director Paula Rouillard said the cereal selection is being reviewed.

The School Committee is scheduled to decide next week whether to continue the program.

ROCKPORT

Animal shelter raising funds to double size of its facility

Officials with the Pets Are Worth Saving shelter of Rockport are trying to raise $1 million so the shelter can double in size and accept more animals.

The shelter, which used to be known as the Camden-Rockport Animal Rescue League, recently bought 2.5 acres on Camden Street where it intends to build a 4,000-square-foot building.

The Bangor Daily News said the 3,000-square-foot facility that was built in 2000 would either be refurbished or torn down and rebuilt, depending on which is less expensive.

Administrative Director Lisa Dresser said the existing shelter is over capacity and sometimes must turn animals away.

The shelter accepts animals from Camden, Rockport, Belfast, Islesboro, Lincolnville, Northport, Searsmont and Liberty.

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt.

FairPoint offering rewards for tips on copper thefts

FairPoint Communications is offering rewards to help find the people responsible for a series of copper thefts across Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

FairPoint says the copper thefts have cost the company $20,000 in Vermont alone. Copper thefts are on the rise across the country because of increasing prices for metals.

FairPoint Security Manager Marc Lussier said the thefts are a growing public-safety concern that could cause a loss of service for people who need emergency services. There also is concern that an untrained person removing cable could be injured.

FairPoint is offering rewards of as much as $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of individuals responsible for the thefts. The size of the reward depends on the severity of the crime.

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