Teens charged in assault, robbery of taxi driver in Presque Isle

Posted April 07, 2011, at 5:21 p.m.
Last modified April 07, 2011, at 6:24 p.m.

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Two Hartland juveniles have been charged with multiple crimes in connection with the assault and robbery of a taxi driver in Presque Isle early Wednesday morning.

Presque Isle police Detective Sgt. Wayne Selfridge said Thursday that the juveniles, who are 17 and 15 years old, have been charged with felony robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, theft of services and assault stemming from the incident, which took place on the Houlton Road at around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. Another 17-year-old who was a passenger in the cab has not been charged because he did not participate in the incident.

Selfridge said that a 32-year-old driver from Bangor Taxi was driving three teenagers to Presque Isle when the teens forced him to pull over. One of the teens brandished a knife. They assaulted the Bangor-based taxi driver before he was able to escape. He ran from the cab to a nearby motel.

The teens allegedly stole $450 worth of property from the abandoned cab.

Police searched a 4-mile area and appealed to the public for help in finding the criminals.

The teens subsequently were arrested and charged Thursday. Selfridge said that both teens have a juvenile record and the 17-year-old who was charged had a warrant out for his arrest after going missing from a juvenile detention unit.

The 17-year-old has been taken to the Mountain View Youth Development Center in Charleston. The 15-year-old will be arraigned in juvenile court later this month.

Their names are not being released because of their ages.

Selfridge said that the 17-year-old who was arrested had a “casual connection” to the Presque Isle area and is believed to have burglarized the Industrial Street One Stop on April 3. He has been charged with felony burglary and theft and criminal mischief in connection with that incident.

The Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department and U.S. Border Patrol agents assisted in the investigation, as did Selfridge and Presque Isle police Sgt. Eric Erickson, Officers Kevin Reed, Lynn Hartley and Larry Fickett.

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