BANGOR, Maine — A local man faced his 72-year-old father at the Penobscot Judicial Center Wednesday for the first time since November and apologized for savagely beating him at his Buck Street home while on bath salts.
“I’m sorry for what happened,” Frederick Ward, 32, of Bangor said shortly before he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. “You didn’t deserve it and, obviously, I’m going to pay for it. I don’t expect you to forgive me or anything like that. I’m sorry. That’s all I can say. I’m sorry.”
Ward’s bail conditions prevented him from having contact with his father prior to Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.
His father listened but did not respond as he sat toward the back of the courtroom with the victim-witness advocate for Penobscot County. The victim, who walked with the aid of a cane, did not address Superior Court Justice William Anderson before the judge imposed the sentence.
Ward pleaded guilty April 6 to robbery and burglary in exchange for the 10-year sentence recommended by his attorney, Jeremiah Haley of Bangor, and Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County.
The judge accepted the plea agreement Wednesday but admonished Ward for what he did not include in his apology.
“Defendants usually say they are sorry for what happened, which is what you said,” Anderson said. “They have a hard time saying, ‘I’m sorry for what I did to you.’ It isn’t just something that happened. You did that to your father. You beat him badly. I hope you are not blaming it on the bath salts or something like that. You’re the one who did it to him.”
Ward was arrested Nov. 3 by Bangor police when they went to check on the older man, who had called the previous evening to say that his son had kicked in the door of the house, according to the Penobscot County District Attorney’s Office.
Brendan Trainor, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County, last year described the beating as “savage.” He also said that it was one of the most serious cases of elder abuse his office has dealt with recently.
Roberts said Wednesday after the sentencing that he agreed with Trainor’s assessment.
When police found the elderly man the morning of Nov. 3, according to Trainor, he had significant injuries to his head and face. Both eyes were bruised and swollen shut and blood was coming from his mouth.
He was transported to a Bangor hospital, where he remained for 22 days.
On Nov. 2, Ward kicked in the door of the Buck Street home and demanded money from his father. The elder man gave his son a “nonworking debit card” and Ward left, according to Trainor.
Because the damage to the door prevented him from locking the house, the elder Ward drove around in his car for about 45 minutes out of fear that his son would return. When he returned, he tried to sleep in his car.
His son showed up late Nov. 2 or early Nov. 3, Trainor said, referring to the police report. Ward jerked open the car door, grabbed the keys and his father’s cellphone, and pulled his father from the car.
“He beat his dad in the driveway,” Trainor said, “then dragged him into the house and continued beating and kicking him.”
At one point, the police knocked, but Ward told his father to be quiet and not say anything, according to the prosecutor.
Police came to the house in response to the father’s earlier call about his son kicking the door in. A short time later, officers returned, but this time Ward answered the door.
At first, the elderly man said he had fallen down. Once the police arrested Ward for violating his bail, the elder Ward told police how his son had beaten him.
Ward faced up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000 on the robbery charge and up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 on the burglary charge.