August 17, 2013

Local & State Dispatches

From staff and news services

SACO

Waterboro man, 58, killed in crash on Jenkins Road

An East Waterboro man was killed Friday morning in a single-vehicle crash on Jenkins Road in Saco after the Ford SUV he was driving went off the roadway and struck a tree.

Wilbur L. Parker Jr., 58, was alone in the vehicle at the time of the accident around 6:46 a.m. in the area of 219 Jenkins Road.

Witnesses reported that the vehicle appeared to "just run off the roadway," police said in a news release.

Parker was headed south on the Jenkins Road in a gray 2004 Ford Expedition. The vehicle sustained heavy front-end damage.

Police said the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will make a determination if an autopsy is warranted. The cause of the accident remains under investigation.

STANDISH

Local motorist shot in leg by someone in passing car

A 52-year-old man from Standish was shot Thursday night while driving on Route 113 by someone in another vehicle as it passed him.

The man, whom authorities have not identified, was struck in the leg by one of several shots fired at him as he was traveling northbound in Standish on Route 113 at approximately 10:46 p.m., according to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

The victim, who was alone in his car, chased the shooter's car until losing contact with it near routes 11 and 113 in Steep Falls, the sheriff's office said in a release Friday.

The victim was later transported to Maine Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

Sheriff Kevin Joyce said investigators do not have a description of the shooter's car to release at this time.

Joyce said that investigators in his office do not believe that the shooting was random. He declined to elaborate.

Anyone with information about the shooting should call 893-2810 and ask to speak to a criminal investigator.

PORTLAND

Woman hit by car on pier upgraded to satisfactory

The medical condition of a Massachusetts woman who has been hospitalized at Maine Medical Center since she and her two sons were struck by a car in Port Clyde on Sunday has been upgraded to satisfactory.

Allison Gold, 50, of Cohasset, Mass., had been in critical condition earlier this week, but by Friday afternoon her condition was just one step short of allowing her to be released, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

One of Gold's sons, Dylan Gold, 9, died on the way to a local hospital after the crash. Her other son, Wyatt Gold, 6, was treated at Maine Medical Center and released Tuesday.

Police have yet to determine what caused Cheryl Torgerson, 61, of New York City, to lose control of her Infiniti G35 sedan as she drove down a narrow road toward the ferry wharf in the fishing village.

Witnesses have said that Torgerson's car appeared to accelerate even after she struck a parked vehicle and then hit a pedestrian and building just in front of the wharf. Police said her car continued forward and struck six more cars parked on the wharf before hitting members of the Gold family who were walking toward the end of the pier to wait for a ferry to Monhegan Island.

Gold's husband, Howard Gold, was in the family's van when the accident occurred and was not harmed.

Howard Gold is a doctor at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where Allison Gold is a nurse. 

Police warn of burglaries in specific neighborhoods

Portland police are warning residents of the Munjoy Hill area and the residential corridor along Forest Avenue between Morrill's Corner and Riverside Street about a spate of recent burglaries.

There are indications the burglars may return to the same neighborhoods again, police said.

The burglars have entered homes through unlocked doors or have cut screens on open windows, they said.

Items commonly stolen include laptop computers, computer tablets, cash, jewelry, medications and firearms. The burglars have especially targeted Apple computer products, police said

The burglaries have occurred all hours of the day and night, they said, adding that in some instances the residents were home.

Police encouraged area residents to lock all their doors and windows when not at home. They also recommended securing valuables and keeping detailed lists of serial numbers of their electronics.

Such items are sold frequently, police said, and recovery is difficult without any identifying serial numbers or markings.

Police have increased patrols in the affected areas. Residents are urged to call police if they see people behaving suspiciously in their neighborhood.

One resident confronted a potential suspect, who has been described as a white male with black jeans, black sneakers, a black backpack and dark hair and about 6 feet tall with scruffy facial hair, police said.

The following have had recent burglaries: Melbourne Street, The Munjoy South complex, Hammond Street, Vesper Street, Morning Street, Glengarden Drive, Harvard Street, Harris Avenue, Newton Street, Goodridge Avenue, Plymouth Street, Harmony Street and Palmer Avenue, police said.

More specific crime mapping can be viewed at mapnimbus.com

Maine ranks among best for its nursing home care

Maine ranks among the top states for nursing home care, according to a report by a nonprofit advocacy group. New Hampshire and Rhode Island were also among the top states.

Texas and Louisiana ranked the worst in the nation, failing every staffing measure in a report by Families for Better Care, whose goal is to improve long-term care.

The group scored, ranked and graded states on eight federal quality measures, such as the average number of hours of nursing care each resident received per day.

WELLS

Suspected of DUI, man faces charge of heroin possession

A Wells man who police suspect was driving under the influence has been charged with possession of heroin after police searched his vehicle and found various drugs.

Justin Tully, 33, was stopped for speeding around 11:30 a.m. Thursday on Merriland Ridge Road and was arrested after police determined he was driving while impaired, Wells police said in a news release Friday.

Police said they searched his vehicle afterward and found the following drugs and drug paraphernalia: 0.8 grams of heroin, 44 grams of hashish, 60 pills of diazepam, 40 pills of lorazepam and 11 hypodermic needles.

Tully has so far been charged with a single felony count of possession of heroin and may face other charges if he is indicted by the York County grand jury.

Tully was released from the York County Jail later Thursday on $1,000 bail.

KENNEBUNK

Wells man facing charge of unlawful sexual contact

A Wells man accused of grabbing an undercover police officer through his clothing earlier this week in Kennebunk was arrested and charged with unlawful sexual contact, police announced Friday.

Dana Smail, 62, of 66 Little Creek Lane, Wells, had been talking to the undercover officer at the Roger's Pond rest area on Aug. 13 when he grabbed the officer's groin area, police said in a release.

Police have been receiving information regarding lewd and suspicious activity taking place at the Roger's Pond and York Street rest areas in Kennebunk, which resulted in the undercover operation being conducted.

Smail is scheduled to appear in Biddeford District Court on Oct. 9.

Police made a similar arrest two weeks ago during the undercover operation at a York Street rest area.

Dean Bushey, 67, of Ogunquit was charged on Aug. 1 with unlawful sexual contact after he, too, was accused of grabbing an undercover officer through his clothing.

BANGOR

Suspect in triple slaying says victim pleaded for life

One of two southern New England men charged with killing three Maine residents last year and then setting fire to a car containing the bodies told investigators that one victim pleaded for her life before being shot.

Randall Daluz, 35, of Brockton, Mass., told detectives that two men were dead when he got into a car with drug dealer Nicholas Sexton of Warwick, R.I., in August 2012 and that he watched Sexton use a gun to kill a third victim, who was crying and hysterical, according to a state police affidavit.

But the affidavit also quoted a former cellmate of Daluz's as saying he killed the woman to earn Sexton's trust.

The defense argued Thursday in court for separate trials. Prosecutors argued that since the evidence against both men is the same they should be tried together. The judge did not immediately rule.

Sexton and Daluz were accused of killing the victims in a drug-related dispute. The victims, whose bodies were recovered from a car found burning in Bangor on Aug. 13, 2012, were Daniel Borders, 26, of Hermon; Nicolle Lugdon, 24, of Eddington; and Lucas Tuscano, 28, of Bradford.

Sexton and Daluz came to the Bangor area in Sexton's rental car to sell drugs, according to the affidavit.

The investigation found that Sexton was angry at Borders for allegedly switching to another source of drugs. A gun linked to the bullet that killed Lugdon was later retrieved from the muddy bank of the Penobscot River. 

Gardiner woman admits stealing taxpayers' IDs

A Gardiner woman has pleaded guilty to stealing the identities of people she was supposed to help get property tax relief.

Federal prosecutors said 43-year-old Joann Rittall pleaded guilty Thursday to identity theft and fraud charges which led to $240,000 in tax refunds to which she was not entitled.

She was released pending sentencing.

Prosecutors say Rittall helped more than 20 people file claims under Maine's Residents Property Tax and Rent Refund "Circuit Breaker" Program. She then used their personal information to file federal income tax returns claiming refunds in their names.

The Kennebec Journal reported that Rittall directed the refunds to be sent to bank accounts she had opened.

She also agreed to repay almost $220,000 to the U.S. Treasury and almost $20,000 to the state of Maine.

WAYNE

Officials urging caution after rabid skunk found

Wayne officials are urging area residents to use caution around wild animals after a rabid skunk was found at a campground.

Town Manager Aaron Chrostowsky said in a statement that the animal was acting aggressively toward campers at Beaver Brook Campground.

The Kennebec Journal reported that the skunk was taken from the campground Saturday and later confirmed to have rabies.

AUGUSTA

Residents must register to dispose of old pesticides

Maine is urging residents to take advantage of a free program to safely dispose of pesticides this fall.

The Maine Board of Pesticides Control and Department of Environmental Protection are running a program in October to dispose of old chemicals like DDT and lead arsenate Maine residents might have in their homes.

It says improperly getting rid of these chemicals can contaminate drinking water.

Home, farm or greenhouse owners will be able to bring the pesticides to four locations throughout Maine. Residents must register for the program by Sept. 27.

NEWPORT

Police following leads in robbery of Key Bank

Police on Friday continued to follow up on leads in a bank robbery Thursday afternoon on Main Street.

Chief Leonard Macdaid of the Newport police said a white male with a thick black beard and mustache entered KeyBank about 2:15 p.m. and demanded money. The man, dressed in blue jeans, a dark blue shirt with a collar and a baseball cap, left on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash, Macdaid said.

The man is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall with an average build.

Macdaid would not say whether the man showed a weapon in the bank. 

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