Lewiston man accused of shooting at truck during custody dispute

Posted Nov. 13, 2011, at 5:28 a.m.

LEWISTON, Maine — Police say a local man shot at a pickup truck during a custody dispute involving a baby sitter and the child’s father.

At the time of the shooting, the 18-month-old girl at the center of the dispute, her father and her grandfather were in the truck. No one was hurt.

Robert Despres, 34, of Lewiston was charged with three counts of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, aggravated reckless conduct and criminal mischief. He was being held on $2,500 cash bail Saturday.

According to police, Despres’ girlfriend was baby-sitting the child while the girl’s mother was away. The child’s father, Joseph Lamothe of Lisbon, shares custody of the child with her mother. Around 8:30 a.m. Saturday, he and his father arrived at Despres’ home at 3 Garnett Ave., where Despres’ girlfriend was baby-sitting.

Lamothe decided to take his daughter, but the baby sitter refused because the baby’s mother had not approved it, police said. Lamothe took the baby despite the protests. Upset, the sitter woke Despres and told him the child was being taken away. Police said Despres knew it was the baby’s father who was taking her.

Police said Despres pointed his .22-caliber shotgun at a 2005 Chevy pickup with Lamothe, his father and his daughter inside. Lamothe’s father, Richard, was driving. He saw the gun and sped off. Despres fired a shot, hitting one of the truck’s rear tires and puncturing it, police said.

Richard Lamothe drove to a local VIP, where police were called. Despres was arrested without incident.

The baby sitter was not charged.

Despres remained at the Androscoggin County Jail on Saturday night.

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