BANGOR, Maine — The man charged Saturday with trying to set on fire a cruiser parked at the Bangor police station told investigators he had hoped to draw national attention to Gov. Paul LePage’s proposed MaineCare cuts by blowing up a police car.
Ian Bodger, 61, of Bangor used pieces of The New York Times and a bottle of paint thinner in an attempt to blow up a police car, according to the affidavit filed Monday at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
Bodger, who was charged with arson, made his first court appearance Monday at the Penobscot Judicial Center by videoconference from the Penobscot County Jail.
District Court Judge Jesse Gunther set Bodger’s bail at $50,000 cash. Conditions include that he not return to the Bangor police station.
LePage has proposed removing 65,000 adult Mainers from the MaineCare program to close an estimated $220 million shortfall in the Department of Health and Human Services budget over the next year and a half. It was not clear Monday how Bodger might be affected if the Legislature approves the proposed cuts.
Bodger’s attempt to blow up a police car was thwarted before much damage was done when Officer George Spencer saw Bodger kneeling behind a cruiser. Spencer grabbed the edge of the newspapers and pulled them from underneath the car, quickly extinguishing the fire, according to a press release issued Monday by Sgt. Paul Edwards, spokesman for the Bangor police.
As Spencer was escorting Bodger into the police station for further questioning, he saw flames shooting from the rear tire and called another officer to assist. Officers were able to move the car from the parking space and extinguish the last remnants of the fire, Edwards said in the press release.
Police took a white gallon jug labeled “paint thinner” from Bodger, the affidavit stated. They also found a small paper bag containing 40 to 50 books of matches inside a “Star Wars” backpack he had with him. In a second bag, police found a small black gym bag with newspapers.
If convicted of the Class A crime, Bodger faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.