CARIBOU, Maine — A Fort Fairfield man who was upset that he was denied MaineCare coverage was convicted last month of terrorizing and violation of conditions of release after threatening employees of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
David J. Ossie, 51, represented himself in Aroostook County Superior Court in Caribou during a jury-waived trial before Justice Kevin Cuddy on Aug. 9. Aroostook County Assistant District Attorney Kurt Kafferlin prosecuted Ossie.
Cuddy sentenced him to 96 days in jail, which is time that he already served while awaiting trial. He could have faced up to 364 days on the terrorizing charge and a maximum of six months in jail on the violation of conditions of release charge.
Kafferlin said late last week that Ossie was angry when he went to the Caribou DHHS office because he had received a letter denying him MaineCare benefits based upon a finding that he was not disabled, a determination that was made by a medical review team. A supervisor met with Ossie in an interview room adjacent to the lobby and testified at the trial that Ossie became increasingly agitated during the meeting.
According to court documents, Ossie told the supervisor that he “wanted medical coverage immediately” and that she “had to do something immediately about his pain.”
The man shouted at her, banged his hand on the table and leaned in closely to her. She explained that he had a fair hearing scheduled before a hearing examiner and that both he and the medical review team would have an opportunity to present their cases to a hearing examiner. Court documents revealed, however, that Ossie also was angry that the review team would be participating by telephone and not in person as he preferred.
He then told the woman that unless someone did something about his pain, he would “come in and take them all down.” He then claimed he was not violent but said he would get a gun and “go take care of them.”
He made a reference to going after the doctor with a baseball bat with spikes in it, court documents showed, and told the supervisor that “all state workers were fat women who eat Haagen-Dazs and only say, ‘I don’t know.’”
Ossie then made additional comments about Gov. Paul LePage and laws that had been passed during his administration relating to domestic violence. The conversation was then terminated.
The supervisor called the Caribou Police Department, and Officer Doug Bell investigated the matter. Detective David Preble from the Maine State Police Executive Protection Unit was contacted about comments regarding the governor.
Ossie told Bell that he had a “very bad temper” but did not intend to harm anyone and told Preble that he did not intend to harm LePage.
He was arrested and charged with terrorizing and violation of conditions of release stemming from a conviction for a domestic violence assault charge. On May 17, however, Ossie was arrested again for terrorizing and violation of conditions of release for allegedly threatening someone else. He was unable to make bail, and indicated that he wished to proceed to trial on the charges relating to the DHHS case without an attorney.
The daylong trial took place on Aug. 9, with Kafferlin representing the state. Ossie testified on his own behalf but did not call any further witnesses.
Ossie had prior convictions for unlawful trafficking of drugs, unlawful furnishing of drugs, refusing to sign a uniform summons and complaint and domestic violence assault.
Kafferlin recommended that Ossie serve nine months in jail with all but four months suspended, followed by one year of probation.