FARMINGTON — A Salem Township man is accused of driving down an embankment toward children, running over a bicycle and sending children running.

He is also accused of throwing paint on a vehicle.

State Trooper Jillian Monahan arrested James O’Brien, 68, on Thursday on misdemeanor charges of violation of condition of release, reckless conduct, criminal mischief and driving to endanger.

He remained at the Franklin County Detention Center on Friday with bail set at $500 cash or personal recognizance and a supervised release agreement after going before a judge. A bail condition that banned him from being in Kingfield was also lifted.

O’Brien was on personal recognizance bail on a charge of criminal trespassing out of Oxford County when he was arrested. The case has not been resolved. Two of his bail conditions in that case are not to commit any new crimes and not to go on the property of Regional School Unit 56, which serves the towns of Dixfield, Canton, Carthage and Peru.

Monahan received a complaint at about 6 p.m. Monday about a protester in Kingfield. O’Brien was protesting with signs alongside Longfellow’s Restaurant. O’Brien left his signs, which were tossed into the Carrabassett River by children, according to Monahan’s affidavit filed with a Farmington court.


O’Brien saw the signs and pulled his vehicle behind the restaurant and stopped at the top of a parking lot, Monahan wrote.

The vehicle continued down a steep embankment toward the children and ran over a bicycle. The driver backed up the vehicle, which got stuck and started spinning tires, Monahan wrote.

“I could see in a video the children running and the dirt flying,” Monahan wrote. “When I was on the scene I saw James taunting the children and the adults that arrived.”

Monahan also reviewed a security surveillance video that showed a person that had a similar build and gait as O’Brien and clothing she had seen him wearing, she wrote. The person carried a can in their right hand as they walked and then located a vehicle of a witness to the incident involving children. The paint was thrown on the vehicle.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.