Accused Bangor attacker had ‘killing spree’ thoughts

Posted March 17, 2009, at 1:34 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 10:43 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The man who police arrested for allegedly cutting a woman’s neck with a knife at a downtown coffee shop on Monday was charged with attempted murder on Tuesday.

Jason Dean, 32, of Bangor also was charged with felony aggravated assault for attacking the 25-year-old woman, who was seven months pregnant.

The woman suffered a 2-inch long, ½-inch wide cut to the right side of her neck, which police said was not life-threatening. She was treated at Eastern Maine Medical Center and released the same day. The Bangor Daily News typically does not name victims.

Dean had his first appearance Tuesday in 3rd District Court in Bangor, and Judge Susan Sparaco set his bail at $50,000 cash.

If he should make bail and get out of jail, Sparaco ordered that he not contact the victim, or the coffee shop owner who chased him down. The judge also barred him from Central Street where the shop is located.

Dean walked into Java Joe’s Cafe at 98 Central St. on Monday morning and walked behind the counter where he used a steak knife to cut the neck of the victim, who was washing dishes, court documents state. Police said he did not know the woman he attacked.

Click to hear an eyewitness account of the Java Joe’s incident.

Dean, who has a criminal history of assault and criminal threatening that dates back to 1997, had been carrying the knife around for several days and was thinking about hurting several individuals, according to Bangor police Detective Tim Cotton’s investigative report.

“He said he was becoming ‘angrier and angrier’ until today when he stated that he had blown his top,” Cotton’s report states. Later it states, “He said the killing spree thoughts had been going through his head ‘constantly.’”

“It was obvious that he had some severe mental health issues that were not currently being addressed adequately,” the detective states.

Dean, who admitted to police that he cut the woman, told police that he had spent time in several mental heath institutes, including Bangor Mental Heath Institute and Acadia Hospital and that he was a client of Northeast Occupational Exchange, which is where police arrested him.

Northeast Occupational Exchange, located at 29 Franklin St., is a social service agency that serves people who suffer mental health or drug abuse problems.

Cotton said in his report that after the knife attack Dean said he had planned to go after a fellow client in therapy with him at Northeast Occupational Exchange. He also planned on going back to the group home where he lived on Glenwood Drive to attack some people there, Cotton said.

After he cut the woman at around 11 a.m., according to police, Dean ran from the coffee shop down Central Street and toward Franklin Street, while being pursued by the shop’s owner, Maddie Willey. Willey helped direct police to the Franklin Street building where Dean was apprehended just minutes after the attack. She told officers that Dean threw the knife into the Kenduskeag Stream.

In the last decade, Dean has been convicted of three counts of criminal threatening and two counts of assault, according to his criminal record provided by the Maine State Bureau of Identification.

Dean also told police that “he had done plenty of things in the past and got away with it,” and that “he could talk his way out of trouble,” according to Cotton’s report.

If convicted of the attempted murder charge, Dean could face a penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. The felony assault charge carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

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