WATERVILLE, Maine — The manager of a Kennedy Memorial Drive oil change business is facing a felony gun charge after he allegedly pulled out a loaded handgun, activated its laser sight and pointed it at two employees.
George Spencer, 43, of Clinton was charged with reckless conduct,
Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey of the Waterville Police Department said Friday night. The charge is a Class C felony because it involved the use of a firearm, Rumsey said.
The incident that led to the charge happened late Tuesday afternoon at Prompto 10-Minute Oil Change and was reported to police on Wednesday. Spencer was charged Thursday evening.
“The allegation, I guess, is that he pulled his gun out, or had it out, and activated a laser sight that was on the gun and was pointing it — depending on whose story you choose to believe — in the general direction [of the employees] in the room,” Rumsey said.
“But in interviewing everybody involved, what is clear is that he did produce the weapon, that the laser sight was activated,” Rumsey said. “I’m going to say it was pointed in the general direction of employees, which certainly caused one of them some alarm and resulted in him calling us and making a complaint, which led to our investigation.
“He was cooperative. He did speak with our officer. He did come down to the station and receive the summons,” Rumsey said.
It is not clear to police why Spencer took the gun out.
“There is no allegation of any kind of an altercation going on or an argument,” he said. “This was, as it was reported to our officer, a case of Mr. Spencer producing this firearm and activating the laser, either as a joke or as just kind of messing around, I guess.
“There were no words exchanged. There was no argument preceding it or anything like that. There was no implied threat or there was not threat that was communicated,” Rumsey said, adding, “The person who made the report to us didn’t feel he was being threatened, he felt like what happened was dangerous and inappropriate and that’s why he made the report to us.”
Rumsey said Spencer holds a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon issued through the town of Clinton.
“At this point, that has not been revoked or anything so to my knowledge there’s nothing that would legally prohibit him from still possessing a firearm,” he said.
Rumsey called the incident “a very unusual case. In fact, I’m not sure that I’ve run into one like this before, where someone was possessing a weapon and basically showing it off and acting like that, which resulted in a report to us of reckless conduct.
“Usually, if friends are convening and talking and one of them may show a firearm to one of them that is interested in seeing it as part of a conversation, that would be one thing, but this is kind of a first for us, where somebody is just displaying it as part of, I don’t know, a joke or whatever his mindset was at the time,” Rumsey said.
Spencer is scheduled to appear in Kennebec County Superior Court in Augusta on April 15, Rumsey said.
Asked if Spencer was still employed at Prompto, Rumsey said, “It is my understanding that he is still working there. He has a court date and the employees have been interviewed by the officer and so what happens with them at work, that work relationship, is going to be up to them and to their employer.
“The only potential issue could be if there was some conduct between now and the court date that could be perceived as tampering and if something like that happened it would be investigated as a separate crime. Otherwise, there are no bail conditions or any other conditions that would keep any of them from the premises or anything like that.”