June 19, 2018
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Rockland police say man held EMT against his will

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — A 27-year-old Rockland man suspected of being under the influence of bath salts was arrested Friday afternoon and charged with holding a Rockland emergency medical technician against his will.

Damion A. Hooper was charged with criminal restraint. The Rockland emergency worker was uninjured.

The incident began shortly after 1 p.m. Friday when a Rockland ambulance and crew were sent to the law office of Strout & Payson on Masonic Street adjacent to the Knox County Courthouse to treat someone for an unspecified reason, according to Rockland Deputy Police Chief Wally Tower.

For reasons not known, Hooper barricaded himself and the EMT in a room at the law office and refused to allow the emergency worker to leave. An affidavit filed by Rockland police in Rockland District Court states that Hooper pushed a table in front of the door to prevent the EMT leaving. The EMT telephoned police for assistance, saying he feared he would be hurt.

Rockland Police Officer Scott Solorzano arrived to help, managed to force his way into the room and subdue Hooper. The department had been dealing with Hooper earlier that day for being delusional and possibly under the influence of bath salts, the affidavit stated.

Hooper was taken to Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport to be evaluated and then was transported shortly before 6 a.m. Saturday to the Knox County Jail in Rockland, according to court records.

Judge Evert Fowle set bail Monday afternoon in Rockland District Court so that Hooper could be released if he comes up with $400 cash or $4,000 in surety.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald had asked for bail to be set at $1,000 cash, citing the potential risk to public safety. The prosecutor stressed that Hooper had been convicted several times before, including of domestic violence assault in 2009 and violating conditions of bail in 2007 and 2009.

Defense attorney Jason Heath had asked for unsecured bail, saying Hooper would not be able to raise significant cash bail because he is not working and must pay $680 a month in child support for three children. Heath also stressed that the use of bath salts was purely an allegation.

Hooper remained at the Knox County Jail Monday afternoon.

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