BANGOR, Maine — A local woman was with two friends last week when they decided to drive to the store just after midnight. But they discovered her ex-boyfriend in her car, and he “made some demands for a ride,” Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Tuesday.
They gave Jonathan Birtz, 29, a Bangor transient, a ride to Hammond Street early on June 19, but he apparently wasn’t happy when he got to his destination. “He threatened to hurt her with a knife,” the sergeant said of the victim, a 31-year-old woman.
She told police Birtz “carjacked or pushed her out of the car before taking it,” Edwards said.
Once she and the others were out of the car, Birtz got into the driver’s seat and took off.
The trio flagged down a car at around 12:35 a.m. Officer Taylor Bagley arrived at the same time and took off after a possible suspect vehicle. Meanwhile, Officer Chris Blanchard interviewed the victim, who gave details about Birtz, including that he was staying at the Hope House.
Bagley and Officer Joe Page went to the Hope House, a Bangor shelter for people struggling with drugs and alcohol, and found the woman’s vehicle.
“A firearm was on the ground on the driver’s side of the car” and taken as evidence, Edwards said.
The officers located Birtz, who was not cooperative, and when they tried to pat him down to look for the knife, he became irate and started fighting them, the sergeant said.
“He began to flail and fight with the officers,” Edwards said. “Birtz was trying to punch and swing at the officers” and after a scuffle “they finally got him to the ground.”
Birtz was cut on the face and bruised during the tussle and an ambulance was called but he refused to get inside, the sergeant said.
He also resisted getting into the police car but was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center for treatment and then to the Penobscot County Jail, Edwards said.
Birtz was charged with felony criminal threatening, refusing to submit to arrest and operating a vehicle with a revoked driver’s license. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted of criminal threatening and remained in jail Tuesday, Edwards said.
“There may be additional charges,” the sergeant said.
Birtz was convicted in May of operating a vehicle while his license was suspended or revoked and ordered to pay a $500 fine, according to court listings printed in the Bangor Daily News.