Jury issues split verdict in Rockland spitting trial

Posted Oct. 18, 2013, at 3:08 p.m.

ROCKLAND, Maine — A Knox County jury deliberated for an hour Friday before convicting a Rockland man of assault for spitting on a police officer but acquitted him of trying to resist arrest.

Justice Jeffrey Hjelm immediately fined 33-year-old Daniel Glaser $400 on the assault charge, which stemmed from an incident that occurred in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

Assistant District Jeff Baroody told jurors in his closing statement Friday that the evidence was clear that if Glaser did not intentionally spit on Officer John Bagley, then he was reckless when he spit and it hit the officer, which still constitutes assault. He also said that Glaser had refused to let go of a rail and was flailing his arms when the officer tried to arrest him after being spit on.

Defense attorney Joseph Steinberger said he thinks the jury determined that Glaser was intoxicated and also having an allergic reaction that caused him to spit, and that when he spit it got on the officer’s jacket.

The officer testified that he was also struck in the face by some of the spit, although Steinberger said that was not included in the officer’s initial written report. The trial began Thursday in Knox County Superior Court.

Steinberger said that the jury’s decision to acquit his client of the resisting arrest charge means that the officer’s use of force against Glaser was completely unnecessary. He said that the officer struck his client such that Glaser’s nose and cheekbone were broken.

Police responded to the New Year’s Eve party in Rockland after someone had called for an ambulance for Glaser.

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