Two men were arrested Thursday evening in connection with a stabbing in Sanford early that morning that left a homeless man hospitalized.

Derrick Roberts-Poulin and Jordan Roberge, both 21 and from Sanford, have been charged with robbery and elevated aggravated assault, both Class A crimes punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

Both men made their initial appearances Friday in York County Superior Court. Neither entered a plea because their cases have yet to be heard by a grand jury, which is standard procedure for felony-level charges. Judge Matthew Tice set bail at $50,000 for Roberge, who allegedly wielded the knife, and $25,000 for Roberts-Poulin.

The incident began around 4:30 a.m. when the two men approached 38-year-old William Southworth near the intersection of Emery Street and Heritage Crossing and stole his bicycle, police said. That led to a fight between the two men and Southworth, who was stabbed. Witnesses also told police that a gun was fired during the altercation, but not at the victim.

The suspects had left by the time police arrived. The victim, who was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland and treated for injuries, said he did not know the men. Southworth was still in the hospital Friday and in stable condition.

Sanford police investigated the incident throughout the day, which led to the arrests of Roberts-Poulin and Roberge.


During their court appearances Friday, Assistant District Attorney Shiela Nevells suggested bail should be set at $100,00 for each.

“Based on the seriousness of the charges, the state feels that a high cash bail is necessary,” she said during Roberts-Poulin’s appearance.

Attorney Jon Gale, who represented Roberge at Friday’s appearance, opposed the high bail because his client has no prior criminal history and because there were “elements of self-defense in the discovery.”

Attorney Rick Winling, who represented Roberts-Poulin, said his client also had no prior charges and should be released on personal recognizance with supervision. Roberts-Poulin had a gun during the encounter with Southworth, but he shot it in the air rather than at the victim. He was not involved in the stabbing.

Judge Tice sided with the prosecutor but did lower the bail amounts. The higher bail for Roberge was because he both admitted to stealing the bicycle and allegedly wielded the knife.

“There were four distinct stab wounds for a totally avoidable situation,” the judge said.


Both are scheduled to be back in court on Jan. 10. They will remain at York County Jail unless they post bail.

In a statement announcing the arrests, Sanford Police Major Matthew Gagne said the case “highlights the vulnerability of the unhoused population that reside in Sanford,” referring to Southworth as a member of that population.

“I don’t think he was targeted specifically,” Gagne said in a follow-up interview. “But because this population is living outside, they are more vulnerable to situations like this. They don’t have the luxury of being inside a building that you can lock.”

Sanford, like many communities in Southern Maine, has been dealing with a growing unsheltered population. The city’s homelessness task force reported this month that there are 83 homeless people living in the community right now.

Gagne said the police department has a dedicated mental health unit comprised of two officers and two clinicians that interact with this population regularly.

Southworth’s stolen bike was recovered, Gagne said, and will be returned to him when he’s discharged from the hospital.

Comments are not available on this story.