Good Samaritan suffers stab wound, collapsed lung after intervening in domestic assault

Posted Dec. 13, 2011, at 11:31 a.m.
Erik Nowak
Bangor Police Department
Erik Nowak

BANGOR, Maine — A young man stepped into the middle of a domestic assault Sunday night and was stabbed in the chest but survived, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Tuesday.

Erik Nowak, 20, of Wolcott, Conn., was fighting with his ex-girlfriend near the Airport Mall at around 5 p.m. when he stabbed the Bangor man who stepped forward to help, the sergeant said.

Brothers Thomas Burgess, 21, and Kayne Burgess, 19, who are from Rumford and are enrolled at Penobscot Job Corps Academy in Bangor, tried the help the woman when the older brother was stabbed by Nowak, according to the Sun Journal.

Sharon Burgess, the good Samaritan’s mother, told the Lewiston newspaper that her son was an acquaintance of Nowak’s ex-girlfriend and witnessed Nowak in a fight with her.

“He stepped in as she was being pulled down the street and grabbed Erik’s hoodie and told him, ‘You aren’t going anywhere with her,’” said Sharon Burgess,. “It was then that Erik turned around and stabbed my son in the chest.”

After Thomas Burgess had been stabbed, his younger brother ran up and jumped on Nowak in an attempt to stop him, she said.

When Bangor police arrived, they found the victim bleeding from the chest and a crowd of people near him, Edwards said. Burgess was able to give a description of the man who stabbed him and he told police he believed his name was Nowak.

Nowak took off running and was found by Sgt. Jim Buckley and Officer Wade Betters by Nicky’s Cruisin’ Diner on Union Street, Edwards said. A knife was not recovered, according to the police report, the sergeant said.

Nowak was arrested and charged with felony aggravated assault. He was taken to Penobscot County Jail and remained there Tuesday morning unable to make his $1,500 cash bail, a jail official said.

Nowak could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000 if convicted.

Thomas Burgess was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center and treated for a collapsed lung, his mother said. He and his brother are graduates of Mountain Valley High School, she said.

Job Corps officials confirmed Tuesday that the Burgess brothers are enrolled and said neither was in school that day.

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