POLICE BEAT

Police chief suffers dog bite in driving arrest

Posted July 12, 2012, at 4:02 p.m.
Last modified July 12, 2012, at 4:42 p.m.
Kitina Bragg
Waldo County Jail
Kitina Bragg

BELFAST, Maine — Police Chief Mike McFadden was bit by one of the dogs in Kitina Bragg’s Jeep when the woman was stopped Tuesday, July 10, for erratic operation. But the worst of it came in the side effects the chief reported suffering from the enhanced tetanus shot he had to receive because of the wound.

McFadden was feeling better Thursday, after suffering flu-like symptoms he attributed to the shot.

The incident began when a driver called the Waldo County dispatch center shortly after 2 p.m. Tuesday to report a vehicle traveling east on Route 3 that was operating erratically. The caller told a dispatcher the vehicle “is going to kill someone.”

Office Brian Lunt stopped the vehicle on Route 3 near the Belfast Curling Club, Detective Bryan Cunningham reported. Bragg, 38, of China was the driver. With her were her 13-year-old son and two dogs. McFadden assisted at the scene and was bitten in the shoulder by one of the dogs.

Lunt’s report indicated that Bragg was “obviously under the influence,” with slurred speech and bloodshot, glassy eyes. During a field sobriety test, the woman appeared unsteady, the officer reported.

Bragg told police she had taken methadone earlier in the day.

She was taken into custody, and an intoxilyzer test was administered which showed no presence of alcohol. Waldo County Deputy Ben Seekins, a trained drug recognition expert, evaluated Bragg and determined she was under the influence of drugs. She was arrested and charged with operating under the influence.

The boy was picked up by a family member and the dogs were transported to the Camden-Rockport Rescue League.

Cunningham said it is not illegal to be driving after taking methadone, a replacement drug for heroin administered by medical clinics, but that if a driver is impaired by any substance, he or she can be charged with OUI.

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