BANGOR, Maine — Several people smoked the synthetic drug bath salts and a fight broke out just minutes before a man was fatally stabbed on Elm Street early Saturday, the pregnant wife of the victim said Monday afternoon.
“It’s drug-related. It’s monkey dust,” said Tina Girouard.
She said she and her husband, Jeffrey LeBlanc, 34, moved to Bangor from Massachusetts five months ago to get away from crack cocaine — the couple’s drug of choice — after finding out she was pregnant.
Police went to 80 Elm St. at about 2:30 a.m. Saturday after receiving a report that a man had been stabbed there. He was taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center, where he died late Saturday morning, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said.
Girouard said she met her husband at the Elm Street apartment at about 2 a.m. Saturday, shortly after he was released from EMMC, where he was treated for a beating he received earlier at or near the residence because of a failed bath salts delivery involving a man there. She and Scott Fogg, a clerk at the nearby Garland Street Store, provided the Bangor Daily News with the name of the tenant, who they believe killed LeBlanc, but the newspaper is withholding his name because he has not been charged with a crime.
“He was upset with [the tenant] about getting beat up,” Girouard said of her husband. “He was saying, ‘Look what happened to me because you [the tenant] wanted to get high.’”
LeBlanc suffered broken teeth and required 14 stitches as a result of the beating, said Girouard, who is seven months pregnant with his child. People waiting for the bath salts beat him up because the tenant didn’t return with the promised street drugs fast enough, she said.
After the couple entered the house early Saturday, Girouard said she watched as the tenant and others already inside smoked bath salts using folded tinfoil.
“Him and the people in the bedroom were smoking the dust,” she said. “I had never seen anybody do it before.”
LeBlanc, who was nicknamed “Boston,” was arguing with the tenant when he asked LeBlanc to leave. LeBlanc refused, his wife of nine months said.
“They kept arguing back and forth, and [the tenant] said, ‘You need to go,” Girouard said.
She said she got so frustrated with the two fighting men that she left.
“I left the house at 2:22 a.m., and the ambulance was called at 2:26 a.m.,” Girouard said. “I woke up [later that day] to detectives knocking at my door.”
The tenant has since gone into hiding, she said. Edwards said he could not confirm whether police have a suspect or if they were searching for anyone. He declined to release other details about the stabbing because the case is still under investigation.
The residence is a two-unit apartment building where several people were present when the stabbing occurred, the sergeant said. Detectives could be seen going into the apartment on Monday afternoon and interviewing neighbors.
Police have responded to the Elm Street address 22 times in the last year, Edwards said.
“In August, we went out eight times,” he said.
Those incidents included a family fight, a trespassing complaint and a hang-up 911 call, the sergeant said.
“The guy’s wife is pregnant,” Fogg said Monday while ringing up customers. “That’s the real tragedy of the whole thing. Jeff wasn’t a bad guy. He drank too much and couldn’t shut it off.”
Girouard said she and LeBlanc moved to Maine to escape the drug scene in Massachusetts and to provide their expected son with a safe place to grow up.
“We came up here to be clean,” she said. “He’d been clean and sober.”
That was until the days leading up to Christmas, when he started to use bath salts, she said.
Her husband had been “dusting” for six days, Girouard said.
But “he was a good man,” she said of LeBlanc. “He helped everybody.”
Bath salts is a hallucinogenic stimulant drug that first emerged in Maine in early 2011 and is called “monkey dust” on the streets of Bangor.
“It’s horrible,” Girouard said of bath salts, breaking into tears. “Don’t ever touch it.”
As of Monday, no one had been charged or arrested in connection with the homicide.
BDN reporter Dawn Gagnon contributed to this story.