Searsport man faces charges in assault

Posted April 06, 2009, at 8:06 p.m.

SEARSPORT, Maine — A local man undergoing anger management counseling was charged with domestic violence after a rampage Friday afternoon in which he allegedly attacked two women, threatened a young girl and threw a puppy against a wall.

Jason Cunningham, 23, of Nickerson Road was charged with domestic violence aggravated assault, aggravated assault, domestic criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, criminal threatening, terrorizing and obstructing the report of a crime or injury.

Cunningham made his initial appearance on the charges in 5th District Court on Monday. He was ordered held on $5,000 cash bail and instructed to have no contact with his victims in the event he makes bail.

According to an affidavit filed by Police Chief Richard LaHaye, police and ambulance personnel were dispatched to a residence at the corner of Mount Ephraim and Nickerson roads at 3 p.m. Friday.

When LaHaye arrived he encountered a young woman who kept screaming that she and her mother had been attacked. LaHaye said that when he asked the woman who attacked her she replied, “I can’t tell you, he will kill me.”

While ambulance personnel assisted the mother, the woman told LaHaye that Cunningham had arrived at the home an hour earlier after having attended an anger management class at a Bangor medical facility.

Cunningham had pleaded guilty to similar domestic violence charges in February and was placed on two years’ probation after serving 10 days in jail. One of the conditions of his probation was that he attend anger counseling.

The victim said Cunningham was fine when he first arrived at the home and was making a sandwich, but he “just lost it” when she asked him to help her move a mattress, she told LaHaye.

Cunningham suddenly threw a knife and a jar of mayonnaise at the victim, picked her up by the neck and threw her against the wall, she told LaHaye. When he picked up the knife and attempted to lunge at the woman, her mother got between them. That further enraged Cunningham and he began choking the mother and slammed her to the floor, she told the police chief.

“I will kill you and your mother,” Cunningham screamed, according to the victim.

The victim said Cunningham then grabbed her mother by the legs, dragged her into the kitchen, straddled her and began choking her with both hands around her neck. During his rampage, Cunningham also threatened to harm a 4-year-old girl and he threw a puppy against the wall. By that time the victim managed to call 911 and Cunningham left the home.

LaHaye noted that while he was talking to the victim, her cell phone rang and she told him, “He can see you and us. He is going to kill us.”

Both women were taken by ambulance to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast where they received treatment for multiple bruises and abrasions. The puppy, which appeared to have injured legs, was taken to a veterinarian.

LaHaye said that when he went back to the home that evening, he observed mayonnaise dripping from a cupboard and found pieces of sandwich meat and cheese on the table and floor.

Cunningham was picked up by Waldo County Deputy Sheriff Glen Graef as he walked down the road away from the house shortly after police were called. He was taken to Waldo County Jail in Belfast.

wgriffin@bangordailynews.net

338-9546

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