June 24, 2018
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County man who spit on postal clerk gets 10 days for violating supervised release

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — An Aroostook County man who served seven months in jail for spitting in the face of a postal worker was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to 10 days in jail, or time served, for violating his supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen also terminated the supervised release by U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services of Derek P. Dow, 28.

Dow had been on supervised release since Nov. 1. Conditions of his supervised release included that he receive treatment for mental health problems, report any interaction with law enforcement officers and live with his mother in Presque Isle.

An arrest warrant was issued for Dow on Jan. 7 after Dow reportedly was turned away three days earlier from the Oxford Street Shelter in Portland because he possessed three knives and a hammer. He also had left his mother’s home without informing his probation officer that he was moving, according to court documents.

Dow was arrested Jan. 9. He was released 10 days later on personal recognizance bail with the condition that he live in a place designated by Stacy Laflin, Dow’s probation officer.

Laflin recommended Monday that Dow’s supervised release be terminated because he had been complying with conditions since his release in January and was returning to Aroostook County to live with his mother, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Portland.

Dow was living on the streets of Portland when he was arrested on Dec. 21, 2011, and charged with assault on a federal employee 11 days earlier, according to court documents.

He pleaded guilty to the charge in July 2012 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 2012.

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, 2011, 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, 2011. Dow’s mail had been put on hold until Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, 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, 2011, 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 on the underlying charge of assault on a federal employee.

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