LEWISTON, Maine — Charles Soule has decided to run for public office after all. He had decided against it, but after he was arrested Wednesday night, he figures the city needs help more than ever.
The 58-year-old Bartlett Street man was arrested after police said an officer saw him pick up a young boy and then slam him to the ground.
Soule said it didn’t happen that way. He admits scuffling with a boy about 10 years old but said he did so only in defense of a smaller boy.
It happened at about 6 p.m. Wednesday. Soule said he was sitting in front of his home when two different groups of kids came together in the street and started pushing and shoving.
“They were rumbling and tumbling a little bit,” Soule said. “The next thing I know, one kid is kicking the other one. Then he got him in a chokehold. That’s when I got involved.”
Soule said he was standing between the two kids, trying to keep them separated, when one of the boys lost his footing.
“His feet hit some dirt and he fell,” Soule said. “That was just as Officer Murphy was coming by.”
Officer Tom Murphy witnessed the incident from his cruiser as he was driving by. Police said the officer saw Soule lift the boy into the air before slamming him down.
“He saw maybe three seconds,” Soule said, “of something that lasted something like 20 seconds.”
Soule, who spent a night in jail, said the boy he had been trying to protect later thanked him for intervening. So did the child’s sister.
A frequent candidate for elected positions, Soule said he had decided against running this year. Now he plans to run as a write-in candidate for mayor.
In the meantime, he is scheduled to appear in court later in the year to answer charges of assault and disorderly conduct.