MILLINOCKET, Maine — A local teenager held a man at gunpoint for allegedly trying to break into a vehicle at 4 a.m. on Sunday until police arrived, Deputy Police Chief Janet Theriault said Thursday.
Officer Martin Legassey was already handling a burglary complaint on Ohio Street that morning when he received a report from Penobscot Regional Communication Center dispatchers of the 27-year-old man being detained at a home on Westwood Avenue, Theriault said.
Sgt. Gary Lakeman, who was just coming on duty, also responded. When the officers arrived, they found two brothers ages 17 and 18, whose parents were not home at the time and who reported that they had interrupted a vehicle burglary at the residence, Theriault said.
The man suspected of trying to enter the vehicle seemed extremely intoxicated “and appeared to be unaware of where he was or what he was doing, or, for that matter, that he had even been held at gunpoint,” Theriault wrote in a statement released Thursday.
As a precautionary measure, Lakeman took and unloaded the handgun from one of the teens and Legassey addressed the suspect, Theriault said. The statement did not identify which teen had the weapon.
Police found that nothing was taken from the vehicle. “With personal safety in mind, Sgt. Lakeman transported the intoxicated subject to his residence,” Theriault said.
The suspect “was not summoned. However, charges could be forthcoming,” she said.
The BDN is not naming the man because he has not been charged with a crime.
Theriault said the brothers believed they were protecting their property.
“Citizens do have certain rights in defending their property from offenses such as burglary, theft and trespass. The key words to remember are ‘reasonable force.’ It is difficult, however, to define what reasonable force is as each situation is different,” Theriault said. “In this particular case, the brothers believed they were exercising their rights in protecting their property.”
East Millinocket reserve police Officer Brad Fitzgerald assisted Millinocket police.