PORTLAND  — A Hollis man with a lengthy criminal record that stretches back almost 20 years and includes convictions for stealing cars, vandalizing a cemetery, attempted aggravated battery and more is behind bars after being arrested by Portland Police in the area of 1410 Congress St. Tuesday afternoon.

Vincent Teruel, 40,  formerly of Illinois, was wanted by Maine State Police in connection with a domestic violence assault charge stemming from an incident on Sunday. Police released few details of the alleged assault on the woman, as is their custom.

He was paroled from the Illinois Department of Corrections  on March 17 after serving  about four years of a seven year sentence for vandalizing an Aurora, Illinois cemetery and stealing more than 100 bronze vases valued at more than $500 each, according to an Associated Press story. He was also convicted of  aggravated assault, and obstructing a police officer in connection with the same incident.

Teruel was convicted of  possessing a stolen vehicle in 2010 and attempted aggravated battery involving a peace officer in 2009.

Teruel, according to the Illinois Star Journal, was in a prison van in 2009  when he escaped custody but was soon returned to prison. His record does not show a conviction in connection with that escape, or another  in September, 2013, when he walked away from a work detail in a kennel associated with Cook County (Illinois) Animal Control.

His criminal history includes a number of convictions involving stolen cars, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of controlled substances.

According to his Facebook page, in 2013 Teruel worked for a general contracting company.

In 2008, Teruel, then an inmate at Pontiac Correctional Center in Pontiac, Illinois, advertised on Inmate Connection that he was looking for female friends to write to him.

Maine State Police and negotiators had surrounded Motel 6 in Portland on Monday after learning that Teruel rented a room there, but after several hours, discovered he was not inside. Police had evacuated the entire fourth floor of the motel and most of the third floor as a precaution before learning he wasn’t there.

McCausland said police suspected that Teruel might be armed, which was one of the reason’s the motel was evacuated, but the gun was found late Monday night at another location.

As of Wednesday morning, Teruel was held without bail at Cumberland County Jail. No further information was available.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]

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