June 21, 2018
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Brunswick man charged after hours-long standoff ends peacefully

Brunswick Police Department | BDN
Brunswick Police Department | BDN
Matthew Senecal
By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff

BRUNSWICK, Maine — A 39-year-old Brunswick man surrendered early Friday after a more than five-hour standoff that began after he allegedly fired a shotgun in his garage and threatened his wife.

No injuries were reported.

Matthew W. Senecal, 39, of Emerald Lane was released late Friday morning on $25,000 cash bail after Brunswick police charged him with domestic violence terrorizing and reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon — both felonies, police said.

Brunswick police received a report of shots fired just after midnight at the Emerald Lane home that Senecal shares with his wife and two young children.

Senecal allegedly fired at least one shot in the garage attached to his home, after which his wife and children fled and called police from a neighbor’s home, Capt. Mark Waltz said.

“When officers arrived, we could see him in the residence and tried to make contact by calling his cellphone, which he did not answer,” Deputy Chief Marc Hagan said. “So because we had been advised that he had fired his weapon, we did not approach the residence, but set up a perimeter and called in the Special Response Team.”

During the next several hours, police with guns drawn surrounded the house. They continued to call Senecal’s cellphone until, at 5:37 a.m., one of the officers saw movement in the house, rang the number again, and Senecal answered.

Senecal stepped outside when asked by police and was taken into custody without incident. Hagan said police never saw him handling a weapon, although detectives later found eight rifles and shotguns in the house.

Police initially believed Senecal shot a high-powered hunting rifle in his garage, but detectives later determined it was a shotgun, Waltz said.

At 5 a.m., a reverse-911 call had warned neighbors within a half-mile of the Emerald Lane house to stay away from their windows, Waltz said.

Senecal was charged with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon for firing a weapon in a residence. He also initially was charged with domestic violence criminal threatening, but that charge was upgraded to domestic violence terrorizing because, Rizzo said, he had threatened to kill his wife.

The Portland Police Department’s Special Response Team was en route to provide assistance when Senecal was taken into custody. Hagan said Portland’s team was called instead of the Maine State Police “because we have mutual confidence in each other’s tactics and training.”

Senecal is scheduled to appear in Cumberland County Unified Court on May 21.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.

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