BANGOR, Maine — A car crashed into the entrance of the custom-made gate at the West Broadway home of Stephen and Tabitha King on Sunday morning, according to Bangor police.
Renee Harris, 25, of Alton, who was driving a 2011 Dodge Neon, told police that she hit the gate when she tried to avoid hitting another car that was on her side of the street, according to Sgt. Ed Potter of the Bangor Police Department.
The accident was reported to police at 9:10 a.m., he said.
No one was injured and the other car was not at the scene when police arrived, the sergeant said Sunday afternoon.
Potter said the woman, who was alone in the Neon, struck and damaged the section of the gate housing the box containing the electronics that operate the gate and a security camera.
Damage to the Neon, which was towed from the scene, was estimated at $5,000, according to Bangor police. The caretaker at the Kings’ home told officers that repairs to the gate could reach $100,000, according to Potter.
The sergeant said he did not know whether the Kings were home at the time of the accident, but said it was the first time he could remember a car hitting the gate.
Stephen King’s high-profile home, however, has attracted unwelcome visitors over the years.
Security at the home the couple purchased in 1979 was increased 12 years later after a Texas man claiming to have a bomb broke into the home in the early morning hours of April 20, 1991.
The incident caused a pajama-clad Tabitha King to flee her home and seek help from a neighbor, according to an article previously published in the Bangor Daily News. She was alone at home at the time of the break-in.
Four days after the incident, Stephen King said that the then-26-year-old Erik Keene of San Antonio had spent at least a week casing his home. Keene had called the couple’s office several times and visited the couple’s office a few days before breaking into the Kings’ Victorian mansion.
Keene allegedly claimed to have an explosive device in his knapsack. When confronted by police, he dropped a hand-held detonator unit and was arrested. The “explosive device” consisted of cardboard and some electronic parts from a calculator.
He was charged the next Monday with burglary and terrorizing.
Keene was sentenced in August 1991 in Penobscot County Superior Court to two years in prison with all but the 127 days he had served suspended after he pleaded guilty to the charges. In addition, he was sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to stay away from the Kings.
In November 2003, a 38-year-old Czech man was arrested sitting in his car across from the couple’s home. Bretislav Bures was charged with stalking. The next month Bures was deported by an immigration judge in Hartford, Conn., to his native country for overstaying his visa.
The week before his arrest, Bures allegedly left notes twice on the King mailbox that asked to speak with Stephen King, according to a previously published report. Through his court-appointed attorney, David Bate of Bangor, Bures told a District Court judge the day after his arrest that he had worked as a carpenter in Georgia and was in Maine on vacation but had run out of money. The note he left on the Kings’ mailbox said he had been living in his car and needed a shower.