Police crack down in first full weekend after UMaine students’ return

Posted Sept. 06, 2011, at 1:30 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 06, 2011, at 4:54 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — It was a typical weekend after the first week of classes at the University of Maine, according to university, Orono and Old Town police.

Law enforcement officials said Tuesday that police will strictly enforce drinking and traffic laws to send a message to new students and visitors to the university.

Campus police issued seven summonses for illegal possession of alcohol by minors during Labor Day weekend, according to university spokesman Joe Carr. In all, 15 students, including the seven who received summonses, were referred to the Dean of Students’ Office for possible punishment under the student code of conduct.

One person was arrested at the university early Monday morning, according to Carr.

Campus police went to Androscoggin Hall around 2 a.m. after a resident assistant called to report a person who appeared to be intoxicated.

Police found Craig Anton, 19, of Biddeford. Anton, who is not a UMaine student, was uncooperative, so police arrested him and took him to the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor, Carr said. Anton was charged with disorderly conduct and illegal possession of alcohol by a minor.

“Early in the fall semester, stepped-up presence and enforcement send a strong message to our students and those visiting from outside our community that illegal and unsafe behavior is not tolerated,” Carr said.

Orono police officers kept busy as well.

“We had a total of nine summonses, both criminal and civil,” said Orono police Sgt. Josh Ewing.

These included four traffic summonses; the rest were alcohol-related civil offenses, he said.

During the long holiday weekend, more officers were patrolling Orono’s streets and police tried to be a “visible presence,” according to Ewing.

“[At the] beginning of the school year, because we’re usually dealing with a lot of new people to the area, we tend to want to set the tone for the year that we are going to enforce traffic and alcohol laws in town,” Ewing said.

Old Town police arrested and charged two people with operating under the influence of alcohol over the weekend.

Just after midnight on Saturday, an Old Town officer saw a motorcyclist driving the wrong way on Willow Street, a one-way road connecting Main and Brunswick streets.

The officer stopped the rider, 21-year-old Daniel Wiley of Standish, who admitted that he had been drinking that night, according to Old Town police Capt. Kyle Smart.

Wiley was arrested and later tested at 0.11, over the legal limit for operating a vehicle of 0.08, during a test for blood-alcohol content.

Smart said officers also broke up several parties that residents complained about over the course of the weekend. Officers keep an eye out for party spots in the early weeks of the semester and try to discourage noisy gatherings and underage or irresponsible drinking.

“We make sure we have a presence in the area if we think a party might be brewing,” Smart said.

Orono police and businesses are seeing a growing problem with fake IDs in town, according to Ewing, who said at least half a dozen students have had their fake IDs taken away.

Ewing said Orono bar and restaurant employees are getting better at spotting fakes, which has led to an early increase in the number of seizures.

“It appears that we’ve got some really good employees at local establishments,” Ewing said.

If police see a higher level of violations than usual, Ewing said the department would bring in more officers during future weekend shifts.

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