LEWISTON, Maine — Ronald Briggs, who held off police for nearly eight hours Saturday, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of criminal trespassing and terrorizing.
Dressed in his orange jail uniform, Briggs, 44, seemed calm for his first appearance in 8th District Court since his arrest at an ex-girlfriend’s home in Auburn, where police say he barricaded himself with a gun. No one was hurt in the standoff.
Judge Rick Lawrence lowered Briggs’ bail from $7,560 to $1,000. He also opened the door for Briggs to be hospitalized as one of his pretrial conditions.
Police said Briggs suffers from bipolar disorder and may have stopped taking his medication. In court, defense lawyer Richard Chareste said Briggs receives federal disability aid.
Briggs asked Lawrence for a chance to be hospitalized.
After his surrender Saturday, Briggs was taken to St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center for an evaluation. He was later taken to the Androscoggin County Jail, where he has been in maximum security.
His standoff with police could have been far worse. While much of the neighborhood around Pine Street in Auburn was closed and several nearby apartments were evacuated, there were reports that Briggs had threatened to harm police.
More than 30 officers including Auburn police, Androscoggin County Sheriff’s deputies, the Maine State Police Tactical Team and the Crisis Negotiation Team helped ensure that no one was hurt.
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.