May 21, 2018
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Old Town police officer uses Taser to stop fight at Riverfront Park

Courtesy photo | BDN
Courtesy photo | BDN
Mark Loring
By Nick McCrea, BDN Staff

OLD TOWN, Maine — An Old Town police officer used his Taser to subdue a man who charged at him Sunday night when the officer tried to stop an assault on a teenager, according to police Capt. Kyle Smart.

Mark Loring, 31, of Indian Island was arrested and charged with Class C assault on a police officer, Class D assault and furnishing liquor to a minor.

Police were called to Riverfront Park on North Main Street around 11 p.m. after reports of a “large fight” in the park. Officer Ryan Fitch arrived to find Loring allegedly kicking another man who was laying on the ground.

Fitch stepped out of his cruiser and shouted for Loring to stop and drop on the ground, but Loring turned, “charged him and pushed him backward,” according to Smart.

Fitch drew his Taser and ordered Loring to stop. When Loring kept coming, the officer deployed the Taser, which delivers an electric shock designed to stun an attacker, at Loring’s chest, but it didn’t have any effect because one of the probes didn’t make it through Loring’s sweatshirt. Fitch fired the Taser a second time for an effective hit.

Smart said he wasn’t sure what sparked the fight, but Loring apparently purchased beer for the 18-year-old victim of the assault that evening. Witnesses told police Loring also punched a female at the scene and assaulted another person who was walking through the park but had left before police arrived.

Loring was convicted of arson in 2001 and plead guilty to 11 counts of burglary, aggravated criminal mischief and probation violation in 2003.

When asked why he charged at Fitch, Loring told police he “didn’t know [Fitch] was a police officer,” Smart said.

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