SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Maine — The victim in a Monday night home invasion suffered only a superficial wound and has a history with the seven men accused of assaulting him, according to a local law enforcement official.
Police Chief David Chapais said Wednesday that the victim was familiar with the people who allegedly entered his home around 11:30 p.m. Monday while he was sleeping. Chapais declined to indicate what sort of disagreement originally may have led to the ongoing dispute.
“All the parties involved knew each other,” Chapais said. “I think [the incident] was preplanned. They weren’t invited.”
Chapais said police are trying to determine how the man was injured. A pair of scissors found in the home has been identified as a possible weapon in the attack, Chapais said, but he thinks it is more likely that the man was hit by someone’s fist.
“He was taken to the hospital, treated and released,” the chief said.
The victim is approximately the same age as his alleged attackers, who are in their late teens and early 20s, Chapais said.
The man targeted in the assault was not alone when it occurred, he said. The victim’s girlfriend, her child, a male roommate and the roommate’s child all were asleep in the house when the group entered but no one else was attacked or injured, Chapais said. The house is on Main Street in the downtown village, he said.
The seven men arrested shortly after midnight Tuesday include: Jacob Bagley, 22, of Harrington; Ian Grant, 20, of Hancock; Alex Hartley-Johnson, 21, of Lamoine; Brent Lockhart, 19, of Hancock; Justin Pinkham, 20, of Hancock; Matthew Smith, 20, of Ellsworth; and Gregory Spurling, 20, of Hancock.
All seven were arrested after the Ford Expedition sport utility vehicle in which they were riding was stopped by police on Route 3 in Trenton. Residents of the house gave police a description of the vehicle involved in the incident, and after area law enforcement agencies were asked to be on the lookout for it, an off-duty Mount Desert police officer came upon the SUV on Route 3 and informed other police where it was, Chapais said.
Officers with the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department stopped the vehicle and assisted, along with Bar Harbor police, as the seven men were detained and then arrested by local police, according to Chapais. Each of the men has been charged with burglary and assault, he said.
Police are looking into the possibility that other people may be involved in the alleged home invasion, the chief said. The SUV has been impounded and was expected to be searched by police Wednesday afternoon.
“I think these guys have been going round and round with each other for a while,” Chapais said. “We’ll see if we can put a stop to it so no one gets hurt.”
Four of the men were released Tuesday on bail from Hancock County Jail, but Bagley, Grant and Pinkham each were held an extra night on alleged bail violations, according to the chief. As of Wednesday evening, none of the men remained in the jail, according to a corrections officer.
The police chief said Officer Rick Graham is leading the investigation and is being assisted by officers with Maine State Police and the Hancock County District Attorney’s Office.