CAMDEN, Maine — The Sunday-morning breakfast crowd was startled by a scuffle on Mechanic Street that involved a police officer and a young man who concealed a sheathed 14-inch-long hunting knife in the waistband of his pants.
Robert Rankin, 18, of Lincolnville did not use the knife against the officer, according to Camden Police Chief Phil Roberts.
At 9:11 a.m., Officer Arthur Smith responded to a trespassing complaint at a restaurant which police declined to identify. When Smith arrived, he found Rankin asleep at a table there and had been so for some time, the chief said.
“He woke him up, spoke to him briefly, and could smell intoxicants,” Roberts said. “He told him he’d have to leave the restaurant. He could see a knife handle sticking up from his belt line.”
Because Smith didn’t want to start an incident in the restaurant, he took Rankin outside and noticed that the blade was no longer visible.
“Things went downhill from there,” Roberts said.
Smith had planned to issue the young man a summons for possession of alcohol by consumption, but “met resistance” from Rankin, the chief said.
“He refused to submit to arrest,” Roberts said. “There was a struggle with the officer on Mechanic Street.”
Rankin pulled out the knife and threw it away during the struggle, Roberts said.
“There was nothing to indicate he drew it in a threatening manner,” the chief said.
There were three witnesses to the events, according to the chief.
“On Sunday morning, there’s a lot of people moving around downtown,” Roberts said.
After the fight, Rankin was arrested and charged with carrying a concealed weapon, assault, falsifying evidence, terrorizing and disorderly conduct, according to police records. He also was issued a summons for possession of alcohol by a minor, possession of a usable amount of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Rankin was taken to Knox County Jail and was released Sunday afternoon on a bail of $750.