Transient arrested over panhandling territory dispute

Posted Sept. 15, 2011, at 5:43 p.m.
Steven Woodbury
Waldo County Jail
Steven Woodbury

BELFAST, Maine — A policeman broke up a fight between two transients last week that was apparently triggered by a disagreement over a woman and panhandling territory.

The incident was initially reported last Thursday afternoon by employees at the Pizza Hut on Route 3, who told dispatchers that it appeared “two hobos were fighting” on Goodwill Drive.

Altogether a group of three men and one woman were involved in the verbal altercation, which appeared to end when two people burdened with backpacks walked away, with at least one still screaming, according to Bryan Cunningham of the Belfast Police Department.

However, minutes later, authorities were again notified of trouble nearby, this time from staff at Bangor Savings Bank, who said that “two guys were holding signs and fighting.”

Officer Eric Kelley responded and saw Steven Woodbury, 54, with no known address, yelling at Brett Dezaine, 24, of Springfield, Vt., and then grabbing him and try to throw him down.

The officer then intervened, grabbing Woodbury and throwing him to the ground, Cunningham said.

Later, Kelley learned that the men were fighting over the territory where each could hold up signs asking for rides, work or food near Route 3.

Woodbury also told the officer that Dezaine and his male traveling companion had been trying to talk “his woman” into getting in their car.

The 53-year-old girlfriend briefly succeeded in getting Woodbury away from the other men before the fight ensued, Cunningham said.

Woodbury was arrested and charged with assault. He was taken to Waldo County Jail, where he was booked and later released on bail.

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