Milo police chief arrested ‘just as anyone else’

Posted March 23, 2009, at 7:23 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 13, 2011, at 11:01 a.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Milo Police Chief Michael Poulin, who was arrested and charged with assault Friday night, allegedly grabbed his wife, Elaine Poulin, by the arms and pinned her against the wall in the family’s business, Elaine’s Basket Cafe and Gift Shop, on West Main Street, according to police.

After the incident, Poulin, 53, was suspended with pay pending the outcome of a continuing investigation. He is expected to make his initial court appearance on the charge at 8:30 a.m. Monday, April 27, in 13th District Court in Dover-Foxcroft.

In the interim, Milo town officials have scheduled an emergency meeting for 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, at the town hall to discuss the matter in executive session, according to Town Manager Jeff Gahagan.

The alleged assault occurred shortly after 7 p.m. when Michael Poulin, accompanied by the couple’s son, Chris Poulin, 25, came into the cafe, where an argument erupted over marital problems, Lt. Robert Young of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department said Monday.

Two Milo police officers and a friend of Elaine Poulin’s were inside the cafe when Michael Poulin and his son arrived, Young said. There were no customers or employees in the cafe at the time of the incident, he said.

Piscataquis County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy said Monday that he is still reviewing the police reports, and additional charges may be pending depending on the evidence. “We just need to do our job and present the evidence,” he said.

He credited the Milo police officers for their action. “It was very good judgment on the part of the Milo Police Department to call the Sheriff’s Department,” he said. Almy also praised the Sheriff’s Department, which notified him of Poulin’s arrest later that night.

Poulin, who was hired as Milo’s police chief in June 2006 and who has been in law enforcement for more than 30 years, was shown no preferential treatment, according to Young.

“He was handcuffed behind his back, placed in the back seat of a cruiser, was taken to the booking area [in jail], where he was fingerprinted and photographed, and then was placed into a holding cell until he made bail, just as anyone else who is arrested,” Young said. The keys to the police cruisers and the municipal office were seized from Poulin as well as 15 firearms.

The Sheriff’s Department views domestic violence as a serious crime, Young said. “In this instance, Mike Poulin was investigated, arrested exactly as we would in any other domestic violence case,” he said. To show how serious the case was taken, Young said Sheriff John Goggin responded to work on the case, “which is pretty unusual.”

Poulin was released from jail late Friday night after Chris Poulin posted $300 bail. His bail conditions include that he have no contact with his wife and the witnesses. He also is prohibited from going to the Police Department and the town office. He reportedly is living outside the county pending his trial.

As of Monday afternoon, court officials said Elaine Poulin had not filed a motion for a protection from abuse order.

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