LINCOLNVILLE, Maine — A Massachusetts man whose addictions got him into trouble with the law during a brief stay here earlier this year took his life last week while incarcerated in his home state.
Gregory G. Bussiere, 53, of Boston hanged himself with a bedsheet at Plymouth County Jail in Massachusetts last Friday. He had been arrested at the veterans hospital in Brockton, Mass., last Tuesday for stealing a purse.
“It’s just tragic,” his brother Stephen Bussiere said Tuesday. “I loved him dearly, he was my best friend. He knew he always could come to me.”
Although he had not seen his brother for five years, Gregory Bussiere reached out to him last winter and was invited to stay with him at his Lincolnville home. Stephen Bussiere, 56, said his brother had alcohol and prescription drug problems for years and cited their abuse as the source of his legal problems.
“When he mixed his meds with alcohol, he just wasn’t the same person,” Bussiere said.
Bussiere said his brother had been under the care of Veterans Affairs and received disability assistance from Social Security. Bussiere said the two got along fairly well during his stay but that his brother’s attitude changed in early spring when he was prescribed stronger tranquilizers at the Bangor VA clinic.
One night in March the two men had a confrontation while Gregory Bussiere was high on drugs and beer. The two fought, Stephen Bussiere was arrested for assault, and the men were ordered by the court to have no contact with each other.
Gregory Bussiere moved to a motel in Northport and continued to consume pills and alcohol, his brother said. He also made threatening phone calls to his brother and was charged accordingly.
On March 30, Gregory Bussiere left his motel and went to Belfast, where he broke into Wanderbird Cruises on Main Street in broad daylight, stealing money, goods and personal items. He was apprehended by Belfast and Lincolnville police back at the motel later that day and the items were recovered.
He was charged and later indicted on two counts of burglary, two counts of theft and two counts of criminal mischief. He was taken to Waldo County Jail and transferred a few days later to Two Bridges Jail in Wiscasset.
A friend from Massachusetts drove to Wiscasset to bail Bussiere out, and, in violation of the court order, Bussiere returned to his older brother’s home in Lincolnville to pick up his belongings, disability check and medications. Police saw him there and placed him under arrest for violating his bail conditions.
Bussiere remained in jail until appearing in court two weeks ago, where he was sentenced to 40 days in jail for domestic violence terrorizing and five days for harassment by telephone. Bussiere managed to convince the court that he would enter a rehab program in Massachusetts to avoid staying in jail. That is how he ended up at the Brockton Veterans Administration Hospital, his brother said.
“He just fell through the cracks. The system did him no justice. It’s just sad that they don’t pay more attention to these people,” Stephen Bussiere said.
Bussiere commended Lincolnville Police Chief Ron Young for assisting him in trying to help his brother, even though in the end their efforts were unsuccessful.
“The man was not always a good person but he was a human being, and when free from alcohol and various drugs he was a brilliant, educated, compassionate person,” Bussiere said of his brother.