Man who spat in postal clerk’s face sentenced to time served

Posted Nov. 01, 2012, at 11:32 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — An Aroostook County man who admitted he spat in the face to a postal clerk last December was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to seven months in jail, or time served.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen also sentenced Derek P. Dow, 28, to one year of supervised release. Conditions of his release include that he receive treatment for mental health problems.

Dow was living on the streets of Portland when he was arrested on Dec. 21 and charged in an assault on a federal employee 11 days earlier, according to court documents.

He pleaded guilty to the charge in July after undergoing court-ordered psychiatric treatment to restore his mental competency, according to court documents. Torresen had ordered that Dow be treated for an undisclosed mental illness in February.

In July, Dow was released on $5,000 unsecured bail and ordered to live with his mother in Aroostook County.

In pleading guilty, Dow admitted that he became angry on Saturday, Dec. 10, when a clerk at the post office on Forest Avenue in Portland told Dow that he could not pick up his mail until the next Monday, Dec. 12. Dow’s mail had been put on hold until Sunday, Dec. 11, according to the complaint.

“Dow appeared to become upset with [the clerk],” the complaint said. “Dow then spit at [the clerk], hitting him on his right ear, the base of his neck and the left side of his face. Dow then walked away from the counter and left the building.”

The incident was captured on video, according to the complaint.

During a Dec. 12 interview with a postal inspector, Dow admitted spitting in the clerk’s face. The defendant said that “the government, the Portland police department and the post office were all part of a conspiracy against him and the Micmac Tribe of Native Americans,” the complaint said.

Dow faced up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

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