Man falls asleep in home of stranger, refuses to leave

Police have charged a man they say entered a stranger’s home in the early morning hours, fell asleep in a living room chair and refused to leave even after a resident pointed a gun at him and told him to get out.

State police say 39-year-old John Rastelli of Augusta was charged with violating conditions of release and criminal trespassing after entering the Randolph home through an unlocked door last week.

Police tell the Kennebec Journal that Rastelli appeared drunk when confronted by a 56-year-old woman and her armed 34-year-old son at about 3 a.m. last Friday.

Rastelli insisted he was in a friend’s home and refused repeated orders to leave.

He is free on $100 bail.

No one was injured.


Police seize 12 pounds of pot, charge video store employee

Saco police have seized 12 pounds of marijuana from a local video store after a customer told police about a strong smell of marijuana in the store.

Police received the anonymous tip Saturday and when officers went to Xtreme DVD & Gaming at 897 Portland Road, they also detected a strong marijuana odor.

Officers questioned an employee and found more than a half pound of marijuana in his backpack, which he said he sells to customers in hopes of making extra money to buy Christmas presents and pay bills.

Police charged Shane R. Phillips, 39, of Old Orchard Beach with drug trafficking.

Police continued to investigate because of the overpowering odor of marijuana and eventually found storage containers in the bathroom with 12 pounds of marijuana worth about $21,000, according to a news release issued by Deputy Chief Jeffrey Holland.

Phillips is scheduled to appear in York County Superior Court in Alfred on Feb. 9.


High court upholds dismissal of lawsuit against sheriff

Maine’s highest court has upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss a slander lawsuit filed against Washington County Sheriff Donnie Smith.

The Supreme Judicial Court found Tuesday that Smith was immune from the lawsuit because the sheriff acted in his capacity as an elected official when he ended the department’s relationship with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and criticized the off-duty behavior of agent Larry Hilderbrand.

Hilderbrand, who was seen in a video showing his badge and drinking beer, sued in February 2010. He was disciplined but not criminally charged.

The court heard arguments in the case last month at the Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor.

Smith told the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday he was pleased with the decision.

Hilderbrand’s lawyer could not be reached for comment.


Police charge Bucksport teen with stalking, threatening girl

A high school student from Bucksport is facing charges of stalking and threatening a teenage girl online.

Police say Carl Astbury, 18, a senior at John Bapst Memorial High School, was arrested Wednesday and charged with using a computer to stalk a fellow student.

He is charged with felony sexual exploitation of a minor as well as misdemeanor stalking and terrorizing.

Police started investigating after being contacted by the female student, who is under 18.

Police say Astbury demanded personal photos of the girl “or else.” He did not specify what that meant but police say it was “clearly a threat.”

He faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

– From staff and news services