Police say Greenbush teen’s alleged assault with barbell weight stemmed from Facebook feud

Posted June 23, 2014, at 9:06 p.m.
Last modified June 23, 2014, at 9:26 p.m.
Dakota Leathers stands with his attorney for the day, Joseph Belisle, on Monday.
Nok-Noi Ricker | BDN
Dakota Leathers stands with his attorney for the day, Joseph Belisle, on Monday.

BANGOR, Maine — A Greenbush teen was arrested late Sunday night on felony assault and other charges after an alleged altercation stemmed from what police say was a Facebook feud.

Dakota Leathers, 18, is charged with aggravated assault, a Class B felony, as well as terrorizing, unauthorized use of property, criminal mischief and assault, according to documents filed Monday at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

According to police reports, Maine State Police were called to a residence on Main Road in Milford at about 8 p.m. Sunday to investigate a report that someone had smashed a window there and then fled in a black Jeep.

When Trooper Taylor Dube arrived, a resident told him that she was in her kitchen when she heard a thump on her window. When she pulled back the shade to find out what had caused the noise, she said she saw Leathers outside with something in his hands, according to police. Shortly after, the window reportedly shattered, and glass flew into the nearby living room.

The woman told police that she grabbed a mop and went outside to confront Leathers and protect her home and family, police reports said. The woman said her 4-year-old granddaughter was in the living room at the time and frightened by what had occurred.

An 18-year-old girl who also was in the residence at the time told police that Leathers was upset with the family because she had posted comments about him on Facebook, which upset him, police said. The teen said she saw Leathers leaving in a black Jeep after the window was smashed.

A 22-year-old woman who was at the home at the time said she heard the sound of breaking glass and saw Leathers leaving in a black Jeep, according to police. She told police that Leathers admitted to breaking the window on Facebook and agreed to provide police a screenshot of the post.

Dube and Trooper Trevor Snow contacted Leathers’ mother in Greenbush and stepfather in Milford, as he was known to stay at both residences.

Leathers’ mother told the troopers that she had spoken to her son on the telephone, and he sounded angry and had threatened to return to the Main Road home and “kill everyone there,” police reports said.

While the troopers were there, Leathers’ mother called him and put him on speaker. The teen allegedly told his mother that he had taken the keys to his stepfather’s PT Cruiser without permission and returned to the Main Road home in it.

About that time, the troopers learned that Leathers had indeed returned to Main Road and he had assaulted a woman there with a barbell weight, possibly fracturing her ribs, police said.

According to Dube’s police report, when Dube returned to Main Road, he was told that Leathers had just posted a comment on Facebook “stating that he was going to return [to] the residence with weapons.”

Leathers was arrested shortly afterward at his stepfather’s home.

During an interview with police, Leathers allegedly said he had gone to the Main Road home “to prove a point” and that the Facebook comments about him had angered him. Asked why he went back a second time, Leathers allegedly said he “needed to prove a point.”

He reportedly said that when he did return, there were three men outside with baseball bats and a hammer. Police reports indicated that the PT Cruiser had significant damage, including numerous dents and scratches and a broken rear window.

Leathers told police that he retreated to the vehicle and “threw multiple weighted plates at the victims.” He allegedly told troopers that he knew he hit one of the males and one of the women.

“Dakota [Leathers] said that the female was not his target but that she deserved to be hit anyway. Dakota said all of the people at the residence needed to be beaten,” Dube said in his report.

Leathers remained at Penobscot County Jail on Monday night. He was unable to make bail set earlier in the day at $5,000 cash or $10,000 surety.

He is scheduled to appear in court in early August.

Bangor Daily News writer Nok-Noi Ricker contributed to this report.

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