NORRIDGEWOCK — A Norridgewock man was arrested at his home Monday after a three-hour standoff with police that began when he shot a dog and fired a gun at a neighbor’s house, officials said.

Nicholas Eckert, 32, was charged with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and criminal threatening for his role in the incident, which drew a heavy police presence, according to Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster.

The charges against Eckert are Class C offenses.

Nicholas Eckert Somerset County Jail photo

On Monday afternoon, Eckert was being held at the Somerset County Jail in Madison, his cash bail set at $100,000, Lancaster said.

Eckert is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday in Skowhegan.

Sheriff’s deputies responded just before 9 a.m. Monday to Eckert’s residence on Red Barn Road, near Ward Hill Road, after receiving a report he was hollering and using a gun to threaten people, Lancaster said in a statement.


Officials were told Eckert had fired a gun at a neighbor’s house, hitting a television in the living room.

Eckert also was reported to have shot, killed and buried a dog, which he had dragged across his lawn, Lancaster said.

When deputies arrived, Eckert came out of his home while holding an “AR-type firearm” and screamed at deputies, who retreated and established a perimeter, Lancaster said.

A Maine State Police tactical team was called to the scene after sheriff’s deputies could not make contact with Eckert, Lancaster said. Meanwhile, a Sheriff’s Office detective obtained a search warrant for Eckert’s house and an arrest warrant for Eckert.

A Maine State Police tactical vehicle travels Monday on Ward Hill Road in Norridgewock during a three-hour standoff near the intersection of Ward Hill Road and Red Barn Road. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

A state police crisis negotiation team was dispatched to the scene, according to Shannon Moss, public information officer for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

At about 12:20 p.m., the state police tactical team made contact with Eckert, and then arrested him on the warrant without incident, Lancaster said.


Nobody was injured during the standoff, Lancaster said as he left the police staging area on Ward Hill Road.

The incident drew at least one armored vehicle and about 20 police cruisers from several law enforcement agencies to Ward Hill Road.

The Norridgewock Fire Department closed a stretch of Ward Hill Road, north of Walker Road, during the standoff. The road was reopened at about 12:30 p.m., shortly after Eckert’s arrest.

Christine Lyman watches Monday as police and sheriff’s deputies assemble near her home off Ward Hill Road in Norridgewock during a three-hour standoff at a residence near the intersection of Ward Hill Road and Red Barn Road. Lyman’s house and dog kennels are behind her. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Christine Lyman, who lives on Ward Hill Road, a few hundred yards from where police had gathered, said of the nearby location, “The police are over all the time.”

A Maine State Police officer readies his gear Monday during a standoff  near the intersection of Ward Hill Road and Red Barn Road in Norridgewock. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel

Lancaster did not provide information about previous incidents at Eckert’s home.

In addition to the state police and Norridgewock firefighters, the Somerset County Communications Center assisted the Sheriff’s Office during the standoff, Lancaster said.

The district attorney’s office for Somerset County is reviewing the case.


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