A Bridgton husband and wife, both 77, sustained serious head injuries during a home invasion Wednesday morning at the hands of a 37-year-old man who lives a mile away, police said.

Michael Holden Photo courtesy Cumberland County Jail

Bridgton police received a 911 call from the couple’s home on Long Lake just after 8 a.m. When they arrived, they discovered that the owners of the home at 16 Innisfree Lane, Robert and Margaret Macdonald, had been attacked and beaten.

The Macdonalds were taken to Bridgton Hospital for treatment of what police said were “serious head injuries.”

Robert Macdonald was initially treated and released from Bridgton Hospital, according to hospital spokeswoman Kate Carlisle, but his wife had to be flown by LifeFlight helicopter to Maine Medical Center in Portland. Robert Macdonald later went to Maine Medical Center and was admitted as a patient.

They were in fair condition late Wednesday night, a spokeswoman at Maine Medical Center said.

Around the same time as the 911 call, Bridgton police took Michael Holden of Bridgton into custody for questioning, according to a news release issued by Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. The Maine State Police are assisting Bridgton police with the investigation.

McCausland said that Holden, who was questioned at the Bridgton Police Department, was arrested late Wednesday afternoon. Police have charged him with multiple felonies, including elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault, burglary and possession of a scheduled drug.

Margaret Macdonald Photo by Amy Paradysz

McCausland said he did not know whether a weapon was used in the attack or whether anything was taken from the home.

“The couple did not know Holden and police are attempting to determine the circumstances and a motive for the violence,” McCausland said.

Robert Macdonald Photo by Amy Paradysz

The Macdonalds’ home and land on Long Lake is valued at more than $1.3 million, according to Bridgton’s property tax records.

Holden, who lives with his grandfather, was being held Wednesday night at the Cumberland County Jail without bail. He will make an initial court appearance on Thursday or Friday, McCausland said.

Holden has a criminal record dating to 2001, mostly for drug and property convictions. He has been charged with felonies, and some were alleged to be violent, but in most cases he pleaded to a lesser misdemeanor.

In his most recent serious arrest, Holden was charged in 2015 by Bridgton police with aggravated assault and domestic violence criminal threatening involving a firearm, but he later pleaded to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, according to criminal history records provided by the Maine State Bureau of Identification.

On his Facebook page, Holden says he is self-employed and attended Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School.

McCausland said Robert Macdonald is the co-owner of two car dealerships. His family operates Macdonald Motors in Bridgton and Center Conway, New Hampshire. The Bridgton dealership moved into a new building on Route 302 in 1997.

The Macdonalds’ nephew, Bill Macdonald, is one of four co-owners. The other owners are Robert Macdonald’s daughter, Mary Macdonald, and Robert Macdonald’s brother, Dan Macdonald.

Contacted Wednesday evening, Bill Macdonald said his phone has been blowing up with calls from people who know his aunt and uncle.

“It was a pretty brutal attack,” Macdonald said. “But we have absolutely no clue why this happened.”

Macdonald said he does not know Holden.

Liston Eastman, the chairman of Bridgton’s Board of Selectmen, said the Macdonald family is well known throughout the community.

“They are a family that has been here for a long time and they are well known,” Eastman said. He said the townspeople he has spoken with are “pretty shook up” by what appears to be an unprovoked assault.

“It makes people worry,” Eastman said. “But the thing we’ve got to do is to let the investigation play out.”

According to a history of the company posted on its website, Macdonald Motors has grown over the years, expanding from a small storefront on Bridgton’s Main Street, which opened in 1946, to auto dealerships.

Robert Macdonald and his daughter, Mary, operate the Center Conway dealership, while Bill and Dan Macdonald manage the Bridgton dealership. The original dealership was founded 73 years ago by Roger Macdonald – the father of Robert and Dan Macdonald.

 

 

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