May 24, 2018
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Heavily armed Portland man a public safety concern, not constitutionally protected, police say

Courtesy of Portland Police Department
Courtesy of Portland Police Department
Carlos Reed
By Seth Koenig, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — Portland police are urging the public to be wary of an Iraq War veteran they say paraded while heavily armed down Forest Avenue late last month. He also has been charged with drug and weapons violations.

Carlos Reed, 27, of Portland, has countered that he was exercising his constitutional right to bear arms and has promised to do so again, with or without police approval, Portland Assistant Police Chief Vernon Malloch said in a Friday afternoon announcement.

Reed has been released on bail and is now walking free. Friday’s announcement was issued for “public safety purposes,” Malloch stated.

According to police, Reed was found by officers just after 1 a.m. on Sept. 27 walking down Forest Avenue near Woodfords Corner wearing a camouflaged bulletproof vest and carrying an assault rifle with a scope and laser site. He was carrying a total of four magazines for the assault rifle, containing 120 rounds of ammunition, and had a handgun strapped to his ankle, police say.

Responding officers confiscated his weapons at the time, but did not immediately charge him.

After an investigation, he was subsequently charged with Class D threatening display of a weapon. When state police arrested Reed on that warrant in Lebanon on Friday, they allegedly discovered illegal narcotics in his possession and tacked on charges of Class D illegal possession of hypodermic apparatus and Class E possession of schedule Z drugs.

A .22-caliber handgun and bulletproof vest were also discovered in Reed’s vehicle at the time, according to police.

“Reed has repeatedly stated that he was exercising his constitutional rights to open carry and he intends to arm himself again and force confrontations with police,” Malloch stated in Friday afternoon’s announcement. “Reed is an Iraq war veteran who stated that he was conducting a military training mission when he was stopped by Portland officers.”

Bail conditions placed on Reed now prohibit him from possessing firearms and ammunition, and force him to comply with an 11 p.m.-to-6 a.m. curfew. Police insisted Friday that anyone who witnesses Reed walking armed in the city keep his or her distance, and to call 911.

People who wish to provide Portland police with tips anonymously can text the keyword “GOTCHA,” plus a message, to 274637, by visiting the department website at or by calling 874-8584.

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