Bail set at $100,000 for man accused in Fourth of July shooting in downtown Bangor

Perrin Oliver (right) appears with lawyer of the day Jeremiah Haley at the Penobscot Judicial Center on Monday.
Nok-Noi Ricker | BDN
Perrin Oliver (right) appears with lawyer of the day Jeremiah Haley at the Penobscot Judicial Center on Monday.
Posted July 08, 2013, at 2:31 p.m.
Last modified July 08, 2013, at 7:15 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The man accused of using a handgun to create a four-hour standoff on the Fourth of July that shut down the center of the city has a long criminal history in other states, according to the affidavit for his arrest.

Perrin Q. Oliver, 44, fired off 70 rounds of ammunition inside his second-story Park Street apartment and out the window onto city streets starting about 8:30 a.m., causing an evacuation of the area and the closure of nearby roadways, police say.

He is facing charges of felony reckless conduct with a firearm and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

“I didn’t hurt anybody,” Oliver said Monday to District Court Judge John Lucy at the Penobscot Judicial Center through videoconference from Penobscot County Jail.

Lucy explained to Oliver that he was in court for his first appearance, held to hear the charges against him, and it was not his trial. He also said that his case probably would go before the Penobscot County grand jury, so he didn’t ask Oliver for a plea.

The police affidavit, filed by Officer Paul Colley, states he was on patrol in downtown Bangor on July 4 when he noticed a crying woman, age 27, carrying a boy and wearing only a long T-shirt with no shoes.

“She told me that Perrin was off his medications and was at the apartment at 47 Park St.,” the affidavit states. “She advised me that Perrin was ‘wiggin out’ and she grabbed her son and left the apartment.”

The affidavit does not state the nature of the condition for which Oliver reportedly was taking medication.

“[She] told me that as she was leaving the apartment she heard what she thought was a gunshot come from inside,” Colley’s report states.

As Officers Jason Linkletter and Joe Page and Sgt. Jim Buckley joined Colley, they heard gunshots coming from inside the three-story brick building that also houses Luna Bar and Grill. The department’s Special Response Team was called and police evacuated the building, set up a perimeter and attempted to call Oliver on his phone at least 21 times, but got voicemail every time.

Oliver is originally from Detroit, Mich., police say, but has lived in North Carolina and New York and has at least 10 aliases, according to the police affidavit. He has lived in Bangor for about eight months.

“He has some significant criminal history out of New York,” Assistant District Attorney Susan Pope said.

Pope’s list of offenses by Oliver include a possession of stolen property conviction from 2003 and possession of heroin conviction in 2005, both in North Carolina; as well as New York convictions for possession of stolen property in 1997; criminal possession of a loaded firearm and possession of marijuana in public in 2008; another criminal possession of marijuana, this time for having more than 25 grams; and a disorderly conduct in 2009.

In June 2011, Oliver was arrested in New York for felony drug possession with intent to sell, a background check provided as part of the affidavit for his arrest states.

Oliver was arrested again in New York in September 2012 for assault in the third degree with intent to cause physical injury and disorderly conduct, and in January entered a guilty plea for those crimes, the court documents state.

Jeremiah Haley of Bangor, who was Oliver’s court-appointed attorney for the day, said Monday his client was indigent and he requested a low bail.

Pope requested $100,000 bail based on Oliver’s extensive out-of-state criminal record.

Lucy set his bail at $100,000.

“$100. I do have $100,” Oliver said after the judge set his bail.

Haley leaned over and told Oliver the correct amount, which seemed to surprise his client for the day.

“One hundred thousand dollars. Oh,” Oliver said.

While Oliver said in court he didn’t hurt anyone, the affidavit says he took aim at the officers who were at the scene.

“While members of the SRT were deployed in the hallway outside Oliver’s apartment, they heard gunshots and had at least one round come through the wall into the hallway near them,” the police report by Buckley, who commands the tactical team, states. “At this point, they retreated out of the hallway to a better covered position.”

At about 12:15 p.m., police shot tear gas into the apartment and Oliver was captured in the hallway as he fled.

After the incident was resolved, Buckley went into the hallway where officers had been positioned and saw the bullet hole.

“The expended bullet was on the floor in the hall,” his report states.

When Oliver’s apartment was searched, investigators “noticed multiple bullet holes in the wall directly toward their prior position in the hallway,” Buckley’s report states. “These rounds did not penetrate all the way through the wall, but they had been fired directly toward the officers.”

Officers took a Rossi .38 special handgun into evidence.

Standoff negotiations such as the one police engaged in on July Fourth take time, Bangor police Sgt. Paul Edwards said Monday in an interview away from the court proceeding.

“There is a process to how they do things,” Edwards said of the Special Response Team. “Negotiations were a part of that and it takes time. Setting up and evacuating people alone took about two hours.

“When all is said and done, the Special Response Team saved that man’s life,” Edwards said.

Judge Lucy assigned Jeffrey Silverstein as Oliver’s court-appointed attorney on Monday and scheduled a dispositional conference for early September.

Oliver faces up to 10 years behind bars and a fine of up to $20,000 if convicted of the felony reckless conduct with a firearm charge. The penalty for felony criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon is a maximum prison sentence of five years and a fine of up to $5,000.

BDN reporter Nick McCrea contributed to this story.

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