July 2, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

PORTLAND

Maximum-security inmate accused of punching officer

A maximum-security inmate who is accused of punching a corrections officer at the Cumberland County Jail has been charged with assault on an officer.

Two corrections officers were preparing to put handcuffs and shackles on Trezjuan Thompson, 29, of Lewiston for the rest of his hour of recreation time out of his cell at 1 p.m. Sunday. Chief Deputy Naldo Gagnon said Thompson's back was to the officers when he spun around and punched Officer Paul Abrol in the face, knocking him to the ground.

Abrol and Officer Tyrone Leslie restrained Thompson, Gagnon said.

Abrol was treated for injuries by the jail's medical staff and later went to a hospital, where he was treated for a mild concussion, Gagnon said.

Thompson was convicted in federal court of arson and then running a drug trafficking ring while he was incarcerated, and was sentenced last month to 27 and a half years in prison.

Federal prosecutors said Thompson was part of a cocaine and crack cocaine ring in the Lewiston-Auburn area when he set fire to an apartment that he had shared with a co-conspirator in November 2009. He pleaded guilty to the charges last year.

Prosecutors said that while he was incarcerated, he conspired to distribute crack cocaine, using phones in the Androscoggin County Jail and the Maine State Prison.

FALMOUTH

Operation Dry Water leads to rescue of kayaker in bay

A two-day effort to check for impaired boaters over the weekend yielded no charges, but led to the rescue of a kayaker in Casco Bay.

Falmouth police and the Portland harbormaster rescued a 25-year-old man who had fallen out of his kayak near Cow Island and was struggling to stay afloat without a life jacket in the chilly water between 7:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday.

"They definitely feel this kid would have drowned" had help not arrived, said Lt. John Kilbride.

Rescuers also retrieved the man's companion, whose kayak was taking on water and who also did not have a life jacket.

The events occurred while Falmouth police participated in Operation Dry Water, a national effort to check for drunken boaters. Police checked 84 boaters and found none in violation, Kilbride said.

BANGOR

Man from England charged with having sex with minor

A man from England is in custody, his passport seized, after being charged with having sex with a 13-year-old girl from Levant.

The father of the girl told Penobscot County Sheriff's Deputy Andrew Whitehouse that his daughter had been communicating online with Nicholas Cheese, 26, of Oxford, England, for about a year and that the man flew to Bangor last week and rented a hotel room there, police said.

Whitehouse and Bangor Detective Brent Beaulieu interviewed Cheese on Sunday at his hotel room and then charged him with gross sexual assault and sexual exploitation of a minor, police said.

AUGUSTA

LePage directing $100,000 to domestic violence group

Gov. Paul LePage is directing some of the state's saved money toward services for people affected by domestic violence.

The Republican governor said Monday that $100,000 from the state's emergency contingency fund will go to the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence.

The group provides services and centers throughout the state for people who experience domestic violence.

LePage said in a statement that more Maine residents are using domestic violence shelters and emergency hotlines. He said the boost will provide resources and help those rebuild their lives.

The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence said in a statement that it hasn't received additional state funding since 2001. The federal automatic budget cuts and fewer donations have contributed to a 10 to 20 percent revenue loss for its programs.

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