July 30, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

PORTLAND

Self-described 'time bomb' charged in club's burglary

A Portland man who gained notoriety when he described himself as "a time bomb" in a letter to a judge has been charged with breaking into the Italian Heritage Center, off outer Congress Street.

Norman Dickinson, 45, was charged with burglary, aggravated criminal mischief and possession of burglary tools after his arrest on Brighton Avenue almost four hours after the break-in.

Police said they got a call from the club's alarm company indicating a break-in. When they arrived, they found that someone had forced his way into the building, caused more than $2,000 in damage to a security alarm panel and then fled. It's not clear whether anything was taken.

Police obtained an image of a suspect from security video at the club. The video showed the burglar wearing a bag over his head, but at some point the bag fell off or lifted up near a camera, so that the camera got an image, police said.

The picture was circulated among patrol officers and one of them saw Dickinson that night. He was found to have a police scanner and pepper spray, police said.

Police are exploring whether there is an connection between Sunday's burglary and others that have occurred in the area.

Dickinson has been charged in recent years with indecent conduct, burglary and refusal to submit to arrest.

In 1989, Dickinson pleaded guilty to threatening three women with a realistic-looking toy gun, kidnapping a woman and stealing the car of another woman. His struggles to re-enter society after spending much of his life in state institutions have made headlines since 1997, when he told a judge he was a "time bomb" and could commit new violent crimes.

 

Man who fell from golf cart remains in critical condition

A 52-year-old Sanford man who fell off a moving golf cart and hit his head in Casco on Saturday night remained in critical condition Monday at Maine Medical Center.

The driver of the golf cart, Gary Belinsky, 59, of Westford, Mass., was released from the Cumberland County Jail on $300 bail after his arrest on a drunken-driving charge.

Investigators with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said the accident was not the result of reckless driving, but Belinsky was charged because police believe his blood-alcohol content was higher than 0.08 percent and a golf cart is considered a motor vehicle under state law.

Belinsky and John MacKay drank at a barbecue with their spouses earlier in the evening at the Point Sebago resort, said Sgt. Paul Thorpe.

Belinsky was driving the cart with his wife in the passenger seat. The other couple were seated on the back of the cart, said Thorpe.

MacKay apparently stood up, wearing flip-flops, slipped and fell from the moving cart, hitting his head and suffering a brain injury, said Thorpe, who described it as "a freak accident."

MacKay's injuries are described as life-threatening.

SANFORD

Police looking for suspect in attempted abduction

Police continue to investigate an apparent attempted abduction of an 18-year-old woman Friday night.

Police Chief Thomas Connolly said the teenager, who lives in Sanford, was walking on Eastern Avenue near Brooks Street shortly before 9 p.m. when a man tried to force her into a maroon Kia Soul. The woman wrestled with the man before freeing herself, and the man then fled in his vehicle, Connolly said.

The woman suffered minor injuries and reported the incident to police as soon as she found a phone, Connolly said. She told police the man was 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall.

"I'm fairly confident we're going to close this soon," Connolly said Monday. "This is a top-priority case. Whenever someone tries to snatch a woman off the street that's very serious."

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