Belfast police catch man accused of slashing tires on 18 vehicles at hotel

Posted Nov. 21, 2011, at 6:12 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — A man who allegedly went on a tire-slashing spree at the Comfort Inn in Belfast before getting involved in a hit-and-run accident in Northport on Friday has been arrested, according to police.

Dmitriy P. Basistyy, 33, of Westbrook had been staying at the hotel on U.S. Route 1 before reportedly slashing 25 tires on about 18 vehicles in the parking lot sometime after midnight Friday, Nov. 18, according to interim Police Chief Walter Corey of the Belfast Police Department.

Corey went to the Comfort Inn about 8 a.m. Friday to look into reports of the vandalism, but shortly afterward left to respond to a reported hit-and-run accident in Northport.

On his way south, Corey passed a black Mercedes that met the description of the vehicle said to be involved in the accident. He then used his lights and siren in an unsuccessful effort to stop the driver, who kept going until he returned to the Comfort Inn. It apparently was the same vehicle involved in the accident, Corey said. Efforts on Monday afternoon to learn more information about the reported hit and run from the Maine State Police, the lead investigating agency, were unsuccessful.

At the Comfort Inn, staffers also identified Basistyy as someone they suspected in the tire slashing. Staff there previously had been alarmed by the patron’s apparently deteriorating mental condition and notified police of their concerns, Corey said. Among other incidents, Basistyy asked to change rooms because “they were watching him in the mirror,” Corey said.

Police brought Basistyy to Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast for an evaluation and then charged him with violating his bail conditions from a previous offense, failure to stop for a police officer and aggravated criminal mischief.

He was taken to Waldo County Jail, where he was booked, and since has been transferred to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, according to police reports.

The alleged tire slashing is considered to be aggravated because of the dollar value of the damage, Corey said. About half the affected customers have given their damage estimates to police, totaling $3,300 so far.

Basistyy’s court date at Belfast District Court has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Jan. 26, 2012.

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