Suspect in UM thefts charged with assault

Posted Dec. 22, 2010, at 11:31 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — An Orono man suspected of stealing laptops and other items from the University of Maine remained jailed Wednesday night on charges of assaulting three UM police officers Tuesday afternoon in the Memorial Union.

Alexander Nimon, 25, appeared Wednesday afternoon at the Penobscot Judicial Center on two felony charges of assaulting an officer and three misdemeanor assault charges.

He was not charged with theft, but Joe Carr, spokesman for the University of Maine, said after Nimon appeared in court that campus police had recovered university property after executing a search warrant at the Orono residence were Nimon had been living.

District Court Judge E. Mary Kelly set Nimon’s bail at $1,000 cash, but he is unlikely to be released. Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County, told the judge that Nimon is on probation for theft convictions out of Somerset County.

Officials in that county have asked that Nimon not be released on bail until they can determine if he should be charged with violating his probation. Details about the Somerset County crimes were not available Wednesday, Roberts said.

Nimon is a suspect in a series of thefts at UMaine that took place over the past three or so weeks, Carr said. Laptop computers from around campus have been reported stolen recently. In addition, items that were not artifacts were taken from the Hudson Museum in the Collins Center for the Arts, Carr said.

Department heads on campus have been asked to inventory all laptops to determine if any are unaccounted for, Carr said. Theft charges against Nimon are expected to be filed soon, according to Carr.

The incident that led to Nimon’s arrest began when a campus police officer spotted him in the union about 3 p.m. Tuesday and called Detective Sgt. Bill Flagg and Sgt. Robert Norman to alert them, Carr said. The police approached Nimon and asked to speak with him.

“Nimon attempted to flee the union and when the officers tried to stop him, he hit [Flagg] in the face with his laptop and hit [Norman] in the face with an elbow,” Carr said.

Neither officer sought treatment.

If convicted of the most serious assault charges, Nimon faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.