Transient arrested after standoff with police while hiding under Brunswick bridge

Posted July 12, 2014, at 11:02 a.m.
Last modified July 12, 2014, at 3:03 p.m.

BRUNSWICK, Maine — Brunswick and Topsham police officers and firefighters spent several hours Saturday morning locating then negotiating with a 27-year-old man who scaled the Frank J. Woods Bridge then hid under the bridge to elude police.

Erik Wallace, who police say is a transient, was arrested in the early hours Saturday and was charged on two warrants for failure to appear, criminal trespass and creating a police standoff, according to a release from Brunswick police Lt. Thomas Garrepy.

Police responded at approximately 12:20 a.m. to a report that two men were on top of the green steel bridge over the Androscoggin River that connects Brunswick to Topsham. Officers ordered the two men on top of the steel girders on the east side of the bridge to descend. One complied and was subsequently released from the scene. His name was not released.

The other man, identified as Wallace, attempted to hide by lying flat along the top beam of the bridge, then working his way along the top of the bridge toward Topsham. He then descended to the substructure under the bridge, according to the release.

Boats from the Brunswick and Topsham fire departments were deployed to allow firefighters to maintain visual contact with the man.

Brunswick police Lt. Todd Ridlon and Brunswick firefighter-paramedic James Millson were outfitted with harnesses and descended under the bridge to look for the subject. He was located at about 2:42 a.m. They negotiated with him for nearly an hour until he climbed out and was arrested, according to the release.

Wallace remained in Cumberland County Jail Saturday afternoon, held on $970 bail, according to a jail official.

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