Man who threatened to blow up bus in Houlton indicted

Posted May 11, 2011, at 7:14 p.m.
Daniel Thomas Maccabee
AP | AP
Daniel Thomas Maccabee

CARIBOU, Maine — A Canadian man who held police at bay for nine hours by threatening to blow up a Cyr Bus Line bus unless he was taken to Canada in late March has been indicted on multiple charges by the Aroostook County grand jury.

The indictment, which was handed up on May 6, was released Wednesday by Aroostook County District Attorney Todd Collins.

Daniel Thomas Maccabee, 50, who was living in Madison, Wisc., prior to the incident, was indicted on one court of terrorizing and three counts of assault. He has remained at the Aroostook County Jail in Houlton since his arrest on March 30.

Maccabee, who is a Canadian citizen, boarded the Cyr Bus at around 6 p.m. in Bangor. While en route, he told the bus driver that he wanted to go to the Canadian border and ordered him not to stop in Houlton. The driver refused and pulled the bus into the Irving Big Stop restaurant in Houlton, which is the bus line’s customary depot, at around 8:30 p.m.

Maccabee told the driver that he had a bomb and showed him what appeared to be a detonator that had three wires connected to it. The wire went from the device to a bulge under his jacket and shirt.

The six other passengers were allowed to exit the bus and a U.S. Border Patrol agent, who was at the Irving to conduct a routine check of the bus passengers, notified the Houlton Police Department at 8:46 p.m. about the bomb threat.

Houlton police Sgt. Fred Parker arrived shortly afterward to assist the agent and began speaking with Maccabee from the door of the bus. Police quickly shut down north- and southbound traffic on U.S. Route 1, where the business is located. The state police tactical team also was called.

Members of the Houlton police and the Maine State Police tactical team negotiated with Maccabee, who told them his original plan was to force the bus to the Houlton border port of entry, show the bomb to Canadian immigration authorities and demand asylum at the Israeli consulate in Ottawa. Maccabee indicated that once he arrived there, he would give himself up.

While he was on the bus, Maccabee allegedly assaulted three women before they were able to get off. He ordered one woman to the middle of the bus, and when she didn’t move, he punched her in the arm and asked her if she wanted to die, police reported. He also allegedly kicked another woman in the leg, flashed the detonator and told her that he wanted her seat. He grabbed a third woman by the hair and pushed her off the bus, police said.

After state police and a bomb squad arrived at the site at about 11:15 p.m., officials used a remote-controlled robot to communicate with Maccabee and provide live footage of the scene. Maccabee was provided a phone which he used to negotiate his demands with the state police.

As the tactical team was preparing to force Maccabee off the bus with gas, he gave himself up. Members of the bomb squad searched the bus for explosive devices but found none.

The device which Maccabee was holding that resembled a detonator turned out to be a Nintendo Wii game system controller that was connected with intercom wire and duct tape to a spiral bound notebook.

Maccabee is being held on $25,000 secured bond or $5,000 cash bail.

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