No charges against Sangerville woman accused of displaying shotgun in road dispute

Sangerville Town Manager Michelle Dumoulin looks over photos with Richard Dobson depicting his property line outside his Burrough Road home in Sangerville on Friday, Sept. 17, 2010. Dobson and his wife Pam blocked contractors from working on the road earlier this week because they felt it was invading their property and threatened their tree line. (Bangor Daily News/Bridget Brown)
Bridget | BDN
Sangerville Town Manager Michelle Dumoulin looks over photos with Richard Dobson depicting his property line outside his Burrough Road home in Sangerville on Friday, Sept. 17, 2010. Dobson and his wife Pam blocked contractors from working on the road earlier this week because they felt it was invading their property and threatened their tree line. (Bangor Daily News/Bridget Brown)
Posted Dec. 17, 2010, at 1:18 p.m.

SANGERVILLE — No charges are being filed against a Sangerville woman who allegedly displayed a shotgun in September and threatened to blow out the tires on a road contractor’s vehicle.

Piscataquis County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy said this week that he would not prosecute based on the evidence presented by the investigating officer, Maine State Police Trooper Forrest Simpson.

“I felt that this was not something that deserved to be in a criminal court,” he said.

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Pam Dobson, 51, and her husband, Richard Dobson, 63, of Burrough Road were distraught when they returned home on Sept. 14 and discovered that a contractor had laid road fabric within 10 inches of the shade trees in front of their country home. They had been assured that the road widening and upgrade project would not encroach on their property, according to Richard Dobson.

Dobson blocked the dirt road with his tractor and his wife picked up an unloaded shotgun and made the threat but never pointed the gun at anyone, according to Simpson.

“We’re upset, and we’re saying what can we do about this. They’re doing exactly the opposite of what they said they would do. They’re not keeping their promise,” Dobson said after the incident.

Dobson said that when his wife couldn’t reach anyone in the town office by telephone because it was closed, she grabbed the gun and he blocked the road.

Almy said the incident occurred because of a misunderstanding about the right of way. He said the Dobsons felt the contractor was trespassing.

“Under Maine law, they have certain rights to take care of trespassers. And I think that based upon everything that was presented and the fact the situation was defused, there was no need for a criminal case,” Almy said.

Richard Dobson, who told police he had defused the situation by taking the gun from his wife, declined to comment Friday.

Sangerville Town Manager Michelle Dumoulin, who called state police when she learned of the incident, said Friday that she would “respectfully submit to the DA’s decision.”

“Because I wasn’t there to witness the threat with the firearm, … I can’t make that determination about what transpired,” Dumoulin said. “Fortunately, no one was injured.”

She said she was disturbed that a firearm was involved and that the proper way to have handled the situation was for the Dobsons to have contacted one of the selectmen if they were unable to reach her. It was simply a miscommunication between town officials and the contractor, she said. “A telephone call would just as easily have resolved this problem.”

The incident prompted discussion among townspeople and others about the taking of property by eminent domain, but that was not the situation in this case, Dumoulin said. The comments were so “far-fetched from what was really happening at that corner.”

“The public is so quick to criticize government when they don’t know all the details,” Dumoulin said.

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