Bangor man could face hate crime charges for New Year’s Eve incident

Posted Jan. 08, 2013, at 9:25 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Bangor man who asked another man if he wanted to join in on “getting” two gay men walking in front of him before showing the man and his girlfriend a knife he was carrying could face more than criminal threatening and trespass charges.

Bangor police Officer Richard Polk arrested Ryan David Lane, 19, of Bangor and charged him with carrying a concealed weapon, criminal threatening and terrorizing for his part in a threatening incident on New Year’s Eve in downtown Bangor, according to Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards.

“Officer Polk was on patrol just after the midnight ball drop downtown and was approached by a concerned citizen who told him a man had threatened to stab two gay men walking together on Central Street,” Edwards said.

The man led officers to Bagel Central, and then identified the suspect by pointing across the street to the suspect.

“He said the man [Lane] asked him if he wanted to join in and get those guys in front of him. He then produced a knife from his jacket and showed it to them,” Edwards said. “The citizen declined to get involved, but then thought the suspect might attack him and his girlfriend for refusing, so he ran over across the street to report the incident.”

Officers approached Lane, grabbed both his arms and restrained him. They found a knife in one of his pockets.

“At that point, he was arrested and we took a statement from the witness,” said Edwards.

The charges against Lane, who is being held at Penobscot County Jail on $2,000 cash bail, have been changed to criminal threatening (Class C felony), refusal to submit to an officer (Class D) and criminal trespass (Class E). He is awaiting a Feb. 12 Penobscot Judicial Center court date.

Whether Lane may face other charges or have his charges altered or elevated to hate crime status is unclear.

“That will have to be reviewed by the Attorney General’s office as far as whether it becomes a hate crime,” said Edwards. “Unfortunately, it’s complicated by the fact that we’ve been unable to locate the people this person threatened to stab. They may not have even known they were threatened.”

According to court records published in the Bangor Daily News, Lane was sentenced to five days in jail and ordered to pay $200 restitution in October for criminal mischief.

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