Saco man’s ‘domestic violence rampage’ triggered by protection from abuse order, police say

Posted Oct. 17, 2012, at 1 p.m.
Last modified Oct. 17, 2012, at 3:54 p.m.

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Donald Henson
York County Sheriff's Office
Donald Henson
A charred foundation and burned-out truck at 645 Goodwins Mills Road in Dayton remain Wednesday Oct. 17, 2012, after Donald Henson, 47, of Saco allegedly held his estranged wife and mother-in-law hostage during an armed standoff with police Tuesday night.
A charred foundation and burned-out truck at 645 Goodwins Mills Road in Dayton remain Wednesday Oct. 17, 2012, after Donald Henson, 47, of Saco allegedly held his estranged wife and mother-in-law hostage during an armed standoff with police Tuesday night.
Goodwin's Mills firefighter Stacey Taylor directs traffic on Route 35 about a half mile from the scene of a reported shooting and fire in Dayton Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012.
Goodwin's Mills firefighter Stacey Taylor directs traffic on Route 35 about a half mile from the scene of a reported shooting and fire in Dayton Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012.

DAYTON, Maine — A Saco man arrested after allegedly holding his estranged wife and mother-in-law hostage during an armed standoff with police Tuesday night was angry over having received a protection order from his wife, police believe.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety, confirmed Wednesday that Donald Henson, 47, of Saco will face additional charges of arson for allegedly setting fires to his own home and truck, as well as to the 645 Goodwins Mills Road home in Dayton where the Tuesday night standoff took place.

Henson was previously charged with aggravated attempted murder and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon after allegedly firing a gun at the women in the Dayton home the night of the incident. Police say he allegedly held his wife and mother-in-law in the residence temporarily, but that they had escaped the building unharmed.

“This was a case of domestic violence,” McCausland said. “He’s had some serious health issues. In addition, there was a protection from abuse order served to him the night before, and we surmised that that set him off on this domestic violence rampage.”

McCausland said investigators from the state fire marshal’s office believe Henson set a fire in the basement of his 2 Maple St. home in Saco on Tuesday before driving to his mother-in-law’s home on Goodwins Mills Road in Dayton, where he allegedly set his truck and the residence there on fire as well.

A burst water pipe helped extinguish the Saco fire quickly, McCausland said, but the Dayton home was destroyed by the blaze. Maj. William King of the York County Sheriff’s Office said Henson kept police and firefighters at bay with a firearm from a secondary structure on the Goodwins Mills Road property, obstructing responders from being able to try and put out the blaze there until it was essentially too late.

King announced on Wednesday that bail was set for Henson at $100,000. He was scheduled to make his first court appearance in Biddeford District Court on Wednesday.

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