MADISON — A Norridgewock man whose lifelike gun tattoo on his stomach brought police to his home in March and sparked nationwide attention was arrested Friday – this time with a real gun tucked into his waistband, according to court records.

Michael Smith, 41, is accused of stealing Suboxone strips from his former girlfriend. He was arrested Friday after showing up at the home of a Somerset County sheriff’s deputy with the drugs on him and a real gun in his waistband, police said. Police said he was crying and had been drinking alcohol.

Suboxone is a narcotic used to treat drug dependence.

Smith, charged with stealing drugs and unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, was released from the Somerset County Jail in East Madison on $1,000 cash bail.

According to an affidavit by Officer Brett Lowell of the Madison Police Department, police were called to the home of Deputy Don Avery in Madison at 8:07 p.m. Thursday. Smith was standing in front of Avery’s cruiser with a gun tucked into his waistband, police said.

Police took the gun from Smith as well as a knife he had been carrying in his backpack, according to the affidavit.

He told them that he had just had a fight with his former girlfriend and wanted to hurt himself, according to the affidavit. Smith told Avery that he had stolen Suboxone strips from the woman, who has a prescription for them, and that they were in the outer pocket of the backpack.

The backpack was confiscated and Smith was taken to Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan.

Madison police contacted Smith’s former girlfriend, whose name they didn’t make public, and she confirmed that her prescription was missing. A search warrant was executed for Smith’s backpack at the Skowhegan Police Department, where police found the Suboxone strips, and Smith was arrested around 1 a.m. Friday.

On March 18, Smith awoke to a SWAT team outside his door after his tattoo of a gun tucked into his waistband was mistaken by a tree removal crew for a real gun.

The crew from Lucas Tree Experts called police to Smith’s Norridgewock home, saying he had threatened them with a gun. Smith, who works nights, said the crew had woken him up around 10 a.m. and he had gone outside – without his shirt, displaying the gun tattoo – and yelled at them to leave.

He went back to sleep and was awakened by several armed officers asking him to come outside. No charges were filed in the incident, which police said was a misunderstanding.

Asked at the time if he was in possession of any weapons, Smith said, indicating the tattoo, “Yeah, I have this gun on me all the time.”

Smith’s story, first reported and photographed by the Morning Sentinel, went viral the next day after it was picked up by several national media outlets, igniting a flood of Facebook sharing and online comments.

Smith is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 6 on the latest charges.

Rachel Ohm can be contacted at 612-2368 or at:

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