Man accused of robbing Ellsworth supermarket with water pistol pleads not guilty

Posted Aug. 23, 2012, at 12:09 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A man police say robbed a local Shaw’s with a water pistol has pleaded not guilty to one charge of robbery and two charges of theft stemming from a streak of incidents that took place July 21.

Shaun Parsons, 34, of Southwest Harbor, wearing a bandana over his face and a baseball cap, allegedly told a cashier at Shaw’s that he had a gun and escaped with $686 in cash, according to police reports. Witnesses tailed Parsons and called the police, who tracked him down and arrested him behind Pizza Hut on High Street.

Police say that rather than the firearm Parsons allegedly claimed to have, they found a small green squirt gun. They also found a list of prescription narcotics, and believe it had been Parsons original intention to rob the pharmacy at Shaw’s, which was closed at the time of the robbery.

Later, officers found a bandana, hat and shirt outside Shaw’s that matched the description of the robbers’ clothes.

The theft charges come from incidents earlier in the day, in which police claim Parsons had nicked a carton of milk from Hannaford on High Street and shoplifted a few items from Walmart on Myrick Street. Police Det. Dottie Small has said the items allegedly stolen from Walmart might have included the squirt gun, baseball cap and bandana.

According to a report filed in Hancock County Superior Court, Parsons told police he had taken the synthetic hallucinogen known as “bath salts” earlier in the day, but was no longer feeling their effects at the time of his arrest.

Robbery is a Class B crime, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Theft by unauthorized taking or transfer is a Class E crime, with a maximum punishment of six months imprisonment and a $1,000 fine.

Superior Court Justice Ann Murray set a trial date for Parsons sometime in November. Parsons is being held in Hancock County Jail. Bail was set in July for $5,000 cash or $25,000 surety, but Parsons’ attorney, Steven Juskewitch, said his client has not been able to pay.

Follow Mario Moretto on Twitter at @riocarmine.

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