LEWISTON — A law enforcement officer was accused of firing a gunshot Sunday near a person at his Poland home.

Brian Smith submitted photo

Brian Smith, 36, was charged with domestic violence reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

He is also charged with threatening display of a weapon, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of 364 days in jail.

Smith is a deputy for the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office in Portland who is on administrative leave and was recently suspended.

He was arrested Sunday at his home by Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office deputies and appeared Monday in 8th District Court by videoconference from Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn.

Judge Sarah Churchill set bail at $3,000 cash or $1,000 cash plus supervised release.


Bail conditions include no use or possession of dangerous weapons or firearms for which Smith can be searched at random and he must have no contact with the alleged victim.

The Sun Journal does not identify alleged victims of domestic violence.

Shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday, Androscoggin County deputies were dispatched to Smith’s home after a report that he had fired a gunshot in his backyard in proximity of a person, according to an affidavit filed by Deputy Gary M. Moulton.

He wrote that Smith was a patrol deputy at Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office who had been suspended.

The alleged victim told deputies that Smith had been “spiraling downward in recent weeks.”

After returning home from a family camping trip, Smith reportedly removed his wedding ring and entered the backyard with a gun, Moulton wrote.


The alleged victim noticed Smith sitting behind a shed, near a wooded area.

When confronted by the alleged victim, Smith stood, grabbed the gun, backed away and fired a shot within 5 feet of the person after he was asked “what he was going to do,” Moulton wrote.

The person retreated to the house, locked the doors and called 911.

Smith’s attorney at the hearing, Jesse James Ian Archer, said the alleged victim told him Monday that Smith was having a “mental health episode” at the time and the alleged victim had “never felt threatened whatsoever.”

The alleged victim had been worried about Smith’s well-being and said Smith had been in “crisis mode.”

Archer said the alleged victim was “a little disappointed in the way officers have represented the encounter.”


The alleged victim was seeking to continue to have contact with Smith, Archer said.

“They have an ability and a game plan to get him some mental health help,” Archer said the alleged victim told him.

Archer said the alleged victim told him Smith’s firearms had already been removed from the home, apparently in accordance with Maine’s so-called yellow flag law.

Assistant District Attorney Nathan Walsh told Churchill he was seeking to have Smith’s bail set at $5,000.

“Public safety is at issue,” he said, urging the no-contact bail condition.

Archer asked for bail to be set at $1,000 cash or supervised release on Smith’s personal recognizance.

Churchill settled on the compromise bail, saying she was barring Smith’s contact with the alleged victim.

“I’m concerned just because of the nature of the events alleged, even if it was just a mental health episode,” in the interest of safety for the alleged victim and the public, Churchill said.

Comments are not available on this story.