Limestone standoff ends with arrest

Posted March 09, 2010, at 8:22 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:32 a.m.

LIMESTONE, Maine — A local man is facing several felony charges in connection with a three-hour standoff with police Monday in which a woman was held captive inside her residence.

The incident involving Johnathan Smith, 36, began around 11:15 a.m., Limestone Police Chief Stacey Mahan said Tuesday.

The chief said someone called the Police Department after her son had a phone conversation with the woman. The caller said her son was talking to the woman when she screamed and the phone went dead. She added that her son again tried to call the 33-year-old woman but could not reach her. The caller asked that police go to the residence on Pondview Street and check on the woman.

Mahan said officers had arrested Smith for domestic assault against the woman at that location last month. They were concerned that Smith, who was not allowed at the home and had not been living there for about a month, was again at the residence.

Mahan said he arrived at the residence less than five minutes after the call came in. He found the front door locked, and when no one responded after he announced his presence, he repeatedly knocked on doors and windows.

The chief said that shortly after he began knocking, he heard what he believed to be a muffled scream. Mahan again announced his presence and pounded more forcefully on the window. He continued to hear a muffled scream and also heard movement inside the home.

The chief called for backup and announced to those inside that he was going to enter the home. A few seconds later, he said Tuesday, he heard what he thought was a gunshot, and the muffled screaming stopped.

Mahan tried to find a place with a better view into the residence and repeatedly used his vehicle’s public address system to tell those inside to come out. No one responded, he said Tuesday.

State police Detective Dale Keegan arrived and tried to establish contact with someone inside the residence. A friend of Smith’s arrived at the scene and said he had just talked to him. The friend told police that Smith was in the house with the woman and there was no firearm inside.

Keegan was able to talk with Smith, and the woman was released at 1 p.m. Police took her to a safe location. The woman told Mahan that Smith had let her leave and confirmed that there were no firearms in the residence.

After further conversations with Keegan, Smith left the home and surrendered to authorities without incident. While inside the home, he had damaged the woman’s property, including her cell phone.

After being cleared at Cary Medical Center in Caribou, Smith was taken to Aroostook County Jail in Houlton. He remained in jail Tuesday afternoon.

The woman was taken to The Aroostook Medical Center in Presque Isle for treatment and later was released. She was not injured.

Smith was charged with violation of condition of release, burglary, domestic assault, kidnapping, obstructing the report of a crime or injury, tampering with a victim, creating a police standoff and criminal mischief.

Mahan was assisted at the scene by Limestone police Officers Jesse Cormier, John Deveau and Dan Gahagan. Police from Fort Fairfield and Caribou also arrived at the scene, as did members of the Maine Warden Service, U.S. Border Patrol, Aroostook Fire District 1, Crown Ambulance and U.S. Customs.

Mahan thanked all those involved and said Tuesday he believes the cooperation of the responding agencies ensured the safe outcome.

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