Friendship fisherman charged with assault, threatening with tools

Posted July 29, 2010, at 4:20 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:34 a.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 42-year-old Friendship man pleaded not guilty Wednesday to allegations that he assaulted a man with a drill and threatened another man with a pipe wrench.

Toby Powell is free on bail after his court appearance at Knox County Superior Court, where he pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault, criminal threatening, aggravated criminal mischief and assault.

The fisherman got into an altercation with another fisherman over trap cutting in the area, according to Powell’s lawyer, Steve Peterson of Rockport.

Peterson said the May 15 altercation in Friendship was caused by one of the other fishermen, who suspected Powell was cutting lobster traps — a charge Powell’s attorney denies.

“It appears to be a case of self defense,” Peterson said.

Court documents do not reveal much detail about the case, except that all three men involved work on fishing boats out of Friendship. The men used to work off the same wharf, but Powell moved his gear to a nearby wharf as to not have contact with the men, as ordered by the court.

Powell’s indictment, handed up from the Knox County grand jury earlier this month, alleges that “Powell did intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause bodily injury to [one of the victims] with the use of a dangerous weapon, a drill,” and that he “did intentionally or knowingly place [the other victim] in fear of imminent bodily injury with the use of a dangerous weapon, a pip wrench.”

The indictment also states that Powell caused more than $2,000 of damage to the vehicle of the man he allegedly threatened with a pipe and also injured the man.

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