AUGUSTA — A federal law enforcement officer from Vermont was arrested in West Gardiner on Wednesday after allegedly aiming a loaded handgun at another vehicle on Interstate 95.

Maine State Police officers arrested Demitria Buhalis, 41, of Brownsville, Vermont, and charged her with aggravated criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, a Class C felony, said Lt. Aaron Hayden.

Buhalis is a police officer at the White River Junction VA Medical Center in Vermont, Hayden said.

Hayden said a man driving south on I-95 in Sidney called police just before noon to report that a woman who drove past him in the left lane pointed a handgun at him and another man in his car. Hayden said the men, ages 35 and 31, are from China and Fairfield, respectively.

The incident began in the Fairfield area about 15 miles to the north, Trooper Christopher Rogers said, adding that it was preceded by passing and tailgating.

“There was an altercation between the two vehicles,” Hayden said. “There wasn’t a collision or anything like that. It just ended up being a road-rage incident.”

The caller followed Buhalis’ black Honda Accord at a distance until Rogers spotted the car in the southbound lane. Rogers followed without his lights activated until other officers arrived to assist with the stop, which took place near the I-295 toll plaza in West Gardiner.

“As soon as the lights came on, she pulled over and followed all of my commands,” said Rogers, who was assisted in the arrest by state police Sgt. Patrick Hood and Cpl. Steve Hills.

In Buhalis’ car, police found two loaded handguns, including a black Sig Sauer under the passenger’s seat that matched the weapon described by the two men, Hayden said.

“Any time you elevate a crime by bringing a weapon it’s a serious offense, especially when it involves a law enforcement officer,” Hayden said. “That’s just something that we’re not going to stand for.”

Buhalis was taken to the Kennebec County jail and released on $5,000 unsecured bail. She is due to make her first court appearance in June and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Naaman Horn, spokesperson for the VA hospital, said “If an employee is found to behave in a manner that is not consistent with our commitment to professionalism and safety, we take appropriate and immediate action,” WCSH-TV reported.

Buhalis is from Maine, has a second address in Brownville and has family in state. She was driving her personal car, Hayden said, and going back to Vermont.

In 2010 she was listed as a ranger at Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex in New York, according to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service records.

Her Facebook page indicates she was an Air Force sergeant.

Staff Writer Michael Shepherd contributed to this report.

Craig Crosby can be contacted at 621-5642 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4

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