Grand jury may hear evidence in homicide under Bangor bridge

Posted Oct. 26, 2010, at 12:04 p.m.
Ralph Greenleaf. PHOTO SUBMITTED BY FRIENDS
Ralph Greenleaf. PHOTO SUBMITTED BY FRIENDS
Ralph Greenleaf with girlfriend and her children. PHOTO SUBMITTED BY FRIENDS
Ralph Greenleaf with girlfriend and her children. PHOTO SUBMITTED BY FRIENDS

BANGOR, Maine — Evidence from the homicide investigation into the death of a Bangor man from injuries suffered during a fight under the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge nearly two months ago may be presented to the Penobscot County grand jury and charges are possible, authorities said Tuesday.

“The case is under active investigation and I expect that it will be considered for charges within the next couple of months,” Assistant Attorney General Andrew Benson said Tuesday. “It may well be presented to the [Penobscot County] grand jury for the grand jury’s review.”

No arrests have been made in the death of Ralph “Greenie” Greenleaf, but charges may be forthcoming, Benson said.

“It’s not unsolved,” Lt. Tim Reid, who leads Bangor Police Department’s detective division, said Tuesday. “We do know who the people involved in this case are.”

Greenleaf, 47, was in the fight just after area bars closed early on Sunday, Aug. 29. Around 1:25 a.m. that day, he was taken unconscious by ambulance to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. He died three days later, at 11:20 p.m. Sept. 1.

The confrontation involved Greenleaf and several young people, according to eyewitnesses, and was broken up by bouncers at a nearby bar. A member of the band playing at the bar called for an ambulance.

After Greenleaf died, the state medical examiner’s office conducted an autopsy to determine the cause of his death.

“The medical examiner’s office and the Office of the Attorney General [concluded] that Ralph Greenleaf … died of blunt force head trauma and that the manner of death is homicide,” a press release issued by Bangor Police Department said.

Mark Greenleaf, who co-owns Carolina Sports and Spirits, which is next door to where Ralph Greenleaf was beaten, told the Bangor Daily News last month that his employees told him a group of young people provoked the fight and needed to be pulled off the victim.

He said the victim, who was not related to him, “was pushed and he didn’t put out his arms and he smashed his head.”

Greenleaf described the incident as a terrible tragedy and said his employees did everything they could to help.

Numerous people were in the area of the fight, which occurred a few hours after American Folk Festival activities wound down for the night, and all needed to be interviewed as part of the police investigation, Reid said. The detective said in early September that “30 to 50 people were in the area.”

“We’ve spoken to the parties involved in this case and the case is under investigation,” Reid said Tuesday. “People have been cooperative and interviewed. We have conducted a number of interviews, and interviews are ongoing.”

Greenleaf was a longtime employee of Roof Systems of Maine in Bangor, where he worked as a kettle tender. He had worked for the company since 1992 and lived on Ohio Street.

“I would not consider this an unsolved case,” Benson said.

Anyone with information about the case can call the Bangor Police Department at 947-7385. The department’s anonymous tip line can be reached by pressing extension 6.

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