Migrant farm worker attacked, stabbed at home in rural Waldo County

Posted Jan. 06, 2014, at 5:40 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 07, 2014, at 8:23 a.m.

KNOX, Maine — Police said that two armed, masked men held a migrant farm worker at knifepoint Sunday night and stabbed him in the chest while they robbed his home.

The farm worker, who works and lives at Gold Top Farm on Route 137, was treated for his injury and then released from Waldo County General Hospital in Belfast, Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.

“He was home, watching TV, when there was a knock on the door,” Trafton said. “He opened the door, and there were two guys wearing masks.”

Through a translator, the man later told police that he was able to push the door closed, but one of the intruders used the butt of a shotgun to break a window and both then got inside. One held the farm worker at knifepoint while the other opened the drawers in his home and robbed the trailer. Tracks in the snow seemed to show that the men got into a vehicle, Trafton said. The incident remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Department.

The migrant worker did not speak much English and had a hard time explaining what had happened when he first called 911 at 8:28 p.m., after the men had left, Trafton said. But one of his friends got on the line a few minutes later and explained that the farm worker needed an ambulance.

Police remained at the scene until about 11 p.m. Sunday, Trafton said. It was unclear how much money was taken from the trailer.

“It sounds like they took mostly change,” the chief deputy said.

No arrests have been made yet, he said.

News of the home invasion spread quickly throughout the community, passed on by residents with police scanners to those without by telephone calls and Facebook messages. Patty Pendergast of Thorndike said that a neighbor called her Sunday night to give her the message that something unsavory was happening in the area.

“I got a phone call saying lock your doors,” she said Monday. “It’s very nerve-racking for all of us. … People feel very vulnerable.”

She said that it is a terrible thing to happen to a farmworker from another country.

“This is preying on the poor,” she said. “The person who could least afford it is the migrant worker in the wintertime in Maine.”

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