Milo sergeant accused of assault asks for jury trial

Posted March 31, 2011, at 6:42 p.m.
Damien James Pickel
Courtesy of Penobscot County Jail
Damien James Pickel

DEXTER, Maine — A Milo police sergeant accused of domestic violence assault has requested a jury trial.

Sgt. Damien Pickel, 42, of Dexter is accused of grabbing a woman and slamming her into a closet door and wall on Feb. 17 in Dexter. The woman also accused Pickel of pushing his weight on her while trying to pin her down to get a debit card from inside her pocket.

“He held me by my wrists and I could feel his nails cutting into me,’’ a police affidavit quoted her as saying. “He pushed me hard against the wall and I knocked my head against the wooden window frame. I was still trying to get free. He then slung me around by my arms and pushed me into the bed, face first. He pinned me down and was still attempting to get into my pocket and retrieve the debit card.’’

In her statement to police, the woman said she called Dexter Police Chief Jim Emerson, who is a friend of the couple, hoping that he would talk with Pickel. She told Emerson that she didn’t want Pickel to get into trouble or lose his job and declined to file charges. The woman reportedly showed Emerson the fingerprint-shaped bruises on her wrists and arms and Emerson agreed to talk to Pickel about the incident, according to the affidavit. He also told the woman that he was required to file an incident report.

On Feb. 22, the woman said she told Pickel to stay away from the house, but on Feb. 28 after he had returned from a visit to New York, Pickel called her, according to the police affidavit. She said Pickel was very angry and advised that he had been served divorce papers at work. He told her, “You better watch your step,’’ she said.

A few days later, the woman said, her 3-year-old daughter found bullets on a night stand that she believes were left by Pickel purposely as sort of a message to her, according to the affidavit. She told police that she later found a shotgun and two boxes of shells missing from the house.

On March 8, the woman decided to write a statement regarding the events.

Pickel has been placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of the court case, according to a Milo official.

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