June 21, 2018
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Marine patrol investigating police boat vandalism

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

BAR HARBOR, Maine — Police have suspects in an alleged incident in which vandals threw a bucket of red paint all over the town’s outboard police boat, but no one has been charged, according to a Marine Patrol officer.

For that reason, the names of the three men believed to have been involved are not being released, Marine Patrol Officer Tom Reardon said Wednesday. He said one of the suspects has been cooperating with police.

The incident happened late last month, Reardon said. In addition to throwing paint on the boat as it sat tied up to the municipal pier, the vandals also painted the phrase “[expletive] da police” on the side of the boat, he said.

“It was clearly targeted at [local law enforcement],” the officer said.

Marine Patrol is investigating the incident on behalf of the Bar Harbor Police Department.

The crime appears to have been committed on the spur of the moment, according to Reardon. A bucket of red paint that was used in the incident was taken from a nearby business, he said.

Aside from the paint, there was no damage done to the boat, he added.

“It doesn’t seem like there was a whole lot of premeditation to it,” Reardon said.

According to Charlie Phippen, the town’s harbormaster, the paint used happened to be latex paint, which was relatively easy to clean up. Conditions at the pier late on Sept. 21 and early Sept. 22, when police believe the vandals struck, were wet and foggy, he said, which helped minimize the damage.

“The paint did not have the chance to set up,” Phippen said Tuesday. The paint that was splashed onto the boat’s control console “just washed right off” without too much cleaning effort, he added.

Phippen said the boat was out of service for only a few hours the day the vandalism was discovered but that it has been operable since then. He said 95 percent of the paint has been removed.

According to Reardon, two of the three men who police think may have been involved left the state soon after the incident. Police have recovered the paint can and have obtained evidence such as fingerprints and DNA samples.

Marine Patrol is working with the office of Hancock County District Attorney Carletta Bassano to determine what kind of charges should be filed in the case, he said.

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