June 19, 2018
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Police say Rockland father struck son with loaded rifle

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A father and son were arrested Wednesday night after an altercation in which police say the father brandished a loaded rifle.

Carl P. Swain, 61, of St. George was charged with aggravated assault, criminal threatening and marijuana cultivation. His son Joel F. Swain, 35, of Tenants Harbor was charged with criminal mischief and marijuana cultivation.

According to an affidavit filed in Rockland District Court by Knox County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Paul Pinkham, Carl Swain called the Knox County Regional Communications Center shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday to report that he had armed himself because his son was acting crazy and out of control.

Deputies arrived and found Joel Swain stumbling in the woods near the home, bleeding from the head. He said his father had struck him in the head with the butt of a rifle, according to the affidavit. The deputy noted that he could smell alcohol on the younger man’s breath.

The deputies then spoke to the father who said his son had been swearing at both he and his wife. The father said he ordered his son to leave the house. Carl Swain said he then went upstairs and loaded a rifle and confronted his son when he returned to the house, according to the affidavit.

Carl Swain told officers he had drunk a half bottle of wine but his wife said he had consumed an entire bottle.

The father said the two men struggled for the rifle and he struck his son in the head. The father acknowledged his son was not armed and that he did not feel threatened by his son.

Police recovered the rifle, which had two rounds in it. More than five marijuana plants also were found.

They arrested the father and took him to the Knox County Jail. Bail was set at $5,000.

The son was arrested and charged with criminal mischief for damaging a wall at his parents’ home on Turkey Cove Road.

Both men made an initial court appearance Friday afternoon. Judge Susan Sparaco set bail for the father at $1,000 cash or $5,000 in property. Bail for the son was set at $500 cash. One bail condition is that he not have contact with his parents.

As of late Friday afternoon, both men remained incarcerated.

Correction: A previous version of this story said Joel F. Swain is 40. He is 35.

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