Damariscotta man held on assault charges after double stabbing

Posted March 14, 2012, at 3:40 p.m.

DAMARISCOTTA, Maine — A Damariscotta man is being held on $10,000 cash bail after a weekend altercation during which he allegedly stabbed two men in Damariscotta’s municipal parking lot.

Brandon Trank, 28, is charged with two counts of elevated aggravated assault, according to information provided by the Damariscotta Police Department. Both victims suffered what the department called serious injuries in the Saturday incident. After driving themselves to Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta, one of the men was taken to Maine Medical Center in Portland by a LifeFlight helicopter and the other was transported there by ambulance. Both are in stable condition, according to the department.

Police said a verbal argument between three men other than Trank escalated into a physical altercation involving him at about 3 a.m. March 10, at 85 Parking Lot Lane. Trank was a passenger in a vehicle owned by one of the other three men. After allegedly stabbing two men, throwing the knife onto a rooftop and fleeing the scene, Trank was arrested nearby.

During a video arraignment in West Bath District Court Monday, attorney Stephen Brochu of Brunswick said Trank told him that he was protecting himself during the altercation.

“Clearly under the circumstances, this could have been an incident of self-defense,” said Brochu. “He was ripped out of the vehicle.”

Assistant District Attorney for Sagadahoc County Deborah Cashman said the facts of the case were not yet clear.

“This is only the defendant’s version of events,” she told District Court Judge Beth Dobson. “He stabbed two people with life-threatening injuries. The knife was thrown onto a rooftop and he tried to flee the scene.”

Dobson also cited Trank’s criminal record in Maine and Florida, which includes convictions for assault and domestic battery, in arguing for a large bail amount. Dobson agreed and set Trank’s bail at $10,000 cash and imposed the conditions that if he is released, he not possess any weapons or have any contact with three other men who were involved in the dispute.

Damariscotta Police Chief Chad Andrews said Wednesday that Trank does claim his actions were in self-defense and that Brochu’s statements were in line with Trank’s side of the story, but that the investigation into that is continuing. Andrews also said that there are rumors in town that some want revenge on Trank for the alleged stabbing.

“There’s been a lot of talk of retribution from townspeople,” Andrews said. “I want everyone to know that we won’t tolerate any retribution.”

Andrews would not discuss what led to the altercation other than to say it was a “personal dispute.” He added that the situation had “nothing to do with drugs.”

Trank was still being held at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset on Wednesday and has another court appearance scheduled for April 26.

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