BANGOR, Maine — A local man has been charged with savagely beating his 72-year-old father late Wednesday at his Buck Street home and keeping the elderly man from getting help Thursday.
Frederick Ward, 31, of Bangor was arrested Thursday by Bangor police when they went to check on the older man, who had called the previous evening to say that his son had kicked in the door of the house, according to the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office.
Brendan Trainor, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, described the beating as “savage.” He also said that it was one of the most serious cases of elder abuse his office has dealt with recently.
When police found the elderly man Thursday morning, according to Trainor, he had significant injuries to his head and face. Both eyes were bruised and swollen shut and blood was coming from his mouth.
He was transported to a Bangor hospital. Information about his condition was not available Friday.
Ward was charged with kidnapping, burglary, aggravated assault and robbery in connection with the incident. In addition, Ward was charged with violating bail conditions in connection with a previous crime that also allegedly involved his father.
He made his first court appearance Friday at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
Superior Court Justice William Anderson ordered that Ward be held without bail until Dec. 20, when a hearing is scheduled to be held on a previous bail violation charge. The judge set bail for the alleged attack on the elder Ward at $100,000 cash. That bail could be posted after Dec. 20.
The bail violation charge stemmed from a June incident when Ward was charged with theft after he allegedly withdrew more cash than he had permission to with his father’s debit card. The younger Ward was at a Bangor hospital while his father was being seen by medical staff when he reportedly threatened to steal his father’s car, prompting a call to the Bangor Police Department, according to a previously published report.
When officers arrived, they found Ward’s father’s debit card in Ward’s possession, police said in June. A subsequent investigation concluded that Ward’s father had given him permission to withdraw a certain amount of cash but that Ward took out an extra $300, according to police. Ward’s bail condition on that theft charge included no contact with his father.
Ward was charged in September with stealing items from two stores in Milford, Trainor said Friday. That incident did not involve Ward’s father.
On Wednesday night, Ward allegedly kicked in the door of the Buck Street home and demanded money from his father. The elder man gave his son a “nonworking debit card” and Ward left, according to Trainor.
Because the damage to the door prevented him from locking the house, the elder Ward drove around in his car for about 45 minutes out of fear that his son would return. When he returned, he tried to sleep in his car.
His son showed up late Wednesday or early Thursday, Trainor said, referring to the police report. Ward jerked open the car door, grabbed the keys and his father’s cell phone, and pulled his father from the car.
“He beat his dad in the driveway,” Trainor said, “then dragged him into the house and continued beating and kicking him.”
At one point, the police knocked, but Ward told his father to be quiet and not say anything, according to the prosecutor.
Police came to the house in response to the father’s earlier call about his son kicking the door in. A short time later, officers returned, but this time, Ward answered the door.
At first, the elderly man said he had fallen down. Once the police arrested Ward for violating his bail, the elder Ward told police how his son had beaten him.
Ward most likely will be indicted on the new charges on Nov. 30 when the Penobscot County grand jury next meets.
If convicted, Ward faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on each of the kidnapping and robbery charges. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 each on the aggravated assault and burglary charges.