A Jonesboro man is facing civil and criminal penalties for allegedly threatening his neighbors with a gun, making racist remarks and saying that he could “get away with shooting” a Black person.

The allegations against Dale O’Brien, 52, are laid out in a civil complaint the Office of the Maine Attorney General filed in Washington County Superior Court on Aug. 1.

O’Brien also is facing criminal charges for the same matter. In July, a Washington County grand jury indicted him on one count of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, a Class C charge carrying up to five years in state prison and $5,000 in fines. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 6.

The complaint seeks an injunction against O’Brien to prevent him from contacting his neighbors, an interracial couple who are not named in the complaint. It also asks the court to bar O’Brien from violating the Maine Civil Rights Act, which protects people from violence or threats based on their race, color, religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. If a judge grants the request, O’Brien could face up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine for any future infractions.

The complaint says O’Brien’s wife, who is not named, told the couple as they were walking down a private road in Jonesboro with their dog and children that they could be shot for walking on private property.

The couple told her they had permission to use the road, which the O’Briens do not own – their property borders the road.


About 20 minutes later, the couple heard three gunshots and then saw O’Brien exit his house and begin yelling “get out” at them, the complaint states. He pointed a handgun at them for more than 10 seconds and threatened them until the husband began recording O’Brien with his cellphone.

A month earlier, the complaint says O’Brien was buying spray paint at a local hardware store to create a “no trespassing sign … because he had a ‘(racial epithet)’ problem.”

“He further stated that there was a ‘(racial epithet)’ who could not read, and the defendant was going to shoot him if the problem continued,” the complaint states.

The complaint alleges O’Brien said he would likely get away with shooting the individual “as long as he didn’t have to bring him in to tag him,” a reference to deer hunting

O’Brien had also made “racially demeaning” comments about the family to other neighbors, the complaint states.

O’Brien’s criminal defense attorney, Jeffrey Davidson, did not respond to a phone message Wednesday afternoon about the new civil action or the criminal allegations.

Washington County District Attorney Robert Granger said Wednesday that his office notified the attorney general’s office for “possible action,” after learning of the incident from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office on April 11 and receiving an email directly from the family two weeks later.

The Office of the Maine Attorney General has requested injunctions in four other cases this year. They filed a similar motion in June, accusing a Florida woman of yelling a racially charged expletive and threatening to hit another woman with her vehicle in Kennebunkport. This month, they filed an injunction against a man in Portland for using racial slurs against a library employee and a woman who worked in his apartment building.

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