June 18, 2018
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Man charged with choking wife, threatening her with knife in Frankfort

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

FRANKFORT, Maine — A man with a history of domestic violence assault convictions was arrested again Wednesday after allegedly choking his wife and threatening her with an illegal knife.

Police were called to the home of Jason F. Cunningham, 25, of Frankfort Wednesday morning to respond to a report of a domestic incident, according to the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office.

When officers arrived, they found that the dispute had finished and the female victim was in a safe place. Cunningham told them that nothing had happened, said Chief Deputy Robert Keating.

But when Deputy Darrin Moody met with the victim separately, she told him Cunningham had choked her by holding her around the throat and also had struck her in the face twice during an argument. She also said he had threatened to kill her and had threatened her with a “butterfly knife,” according to Keating.

A butterfly knife is a kind of folding pocket knife that is illegal in Maine, he said.

The deputy observed visible marks on her skin and she was taken to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast by ambulance to be evaluated, Keating said.

Because Cunningham had two prior convictions of domestic violence assault, he was charged with Class C domestic violence assault, which is a felony and not a misdemeanor crime. He also was charged with trafficking with dangerous knives and domestic violence criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.

He was booked at Waldo County Jail and his court date was set for June 30 at Belfast District Court.

Keating said Cunningham was cooperative with police.

Brooks man arrested after off-duty trooper spots him behaving suspiciously

FRANKFORT, Maine — A man was arrested and charged with motor vehicle burglary Wednesday evening after an off-duty Maine State Police lieutenant noticed him behaving suspiciously in the parking lot of Monroe Elementary School.

Lt. David Tripp saw Dustin Gardner, 22, of Brooks in a car at about 6:30 p.m., according to a police report.

“When [Gardner] noticed he had been seen, he hurriedly got out of the car,” said Chief Deputy Robert Keating Thursday morning.

Tripp reported the incident and Gardner was questioned at the scene by Sheriff’s Office deputies, Keating said.

Although he initially said he had mistakenly entered one car, thinking it was his friend’s, Gardner ultimately admitted to having gone into the vehicle looking for something to steal, according to Keating.

“Under further questioning, he admitted he had tried going into two other cars, but they were locked,” the chief deputy said.

Gardner was booked at Waldo County Jail and has a court date set for July 19.

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