BANGOR, Maine — A man on bath salts climbed under the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge, where he perched for more than two hours early Friday morning in an attempt to elude police who he believed had stashed drugs in his shorts and on the bridge, according to Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards.
Shortly before midnight Thursday, Brewer police officers were dealing with reports of a man acting strangely on Wilson Street in Brewer. They tracked the man down, but he took off, running onto the bridge.
When he was halfway across, he climbed over the railing and onto the black piping that runs underneath the bridge around midnight, Edwards said.
A crowd of people gathered near the bridge to watch the man. Some witnesses took video and pictures of the incident during which the man is partially naked.
Elisa Young of Holden said she was leaving a movie and became curious when she saw Bangor and Brewer police cars gathered on the bridge, so she drove to the Sea Dog so she could get a view of what was going on.
“I saw legs hanging from under the bridge,” Young said.
Young said the man had removed his shorts and was dumping items from his pockets into the river. At one point, he tore up the shorts in an effort to get rid of more of the drugs, according to Edwards.
“He was not all there,” Young said. “He was talking to the cops and trying to have a conversation with them, but he was talking to himself an awful lot.”
Police lowered a harness to the man, who refused to put it on and was “completely focused on the drugs planted on and around him and the bridge,” Edwards said.
Police then tried lowering a ladder for the man to climb up. Eventually, the man climbed onto the ladder, where he stayed for about an hour, according to Young.
In videos, the man is shown standing on the ladder in a several positions. At one point, he appears to caress the ladder while bent over a rung.
After more than 2½ hours, the man finally climbed the ladder and was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center for evaluation.
Police are not releasing the man’s identity, only revealing that he is a 35-year-old Gouldsboro man, and have not charged him with any crimes. Edwards said police didn’t find any drugs on him.
Edward said he didn’t believe any charges would be filed.