Milbridge man faces gun-related charge after alarming patients, staff outside doctor’s office in Ellsworth

Posted Aug. 26, 2014, at 5:13 p.m.

ELLSWORTH, Maine — A Milbridge man is facing a gun-related charge after he alarmed patients and staff Monday afternoon at a local doctor’s office, according to police.

Jeffrey Turner, 46, had a loaded and concealed .40-caliber handgun in his sport utility vehicle, which is not legal, Ellsworth police Officer Rick Roberts said Tuesday. Turner was summoned on the loaded weapon charge, and the firearm was confiscated, Roberts said.

The officer said part of what prompted local police to approach Turner with their guns drawn was his appearance. He was wearing Army fatigues, including camouflage pants, Army boots, as well as a gun belt and holster when he was spotted outside a doctor’s office on Resort Way. The holster was empty, but ammunition was in the gun belt, Roberts said.

A woman dropping off her grandfather for a doctor’s appointment witnessed Turner moving a handgun from the back of his Ford Escape to the front seat, and she told a nurse. The nurse called 911, and a second nurse activated the office’s panic button, Roberts said.

“It caused some fear,” the officer said. “He looked like he was ready for battle. You can’t do that and not draw attention to yourself.”

Responding police approached Turner with their weapons drawn as he sat in the driver’s seat of the SUV, but Turner was fully cooperative, Roberts said. The handgun the woman had seen — a .45-caliber semi-automatic — was with Turner in the front seat and was not loaded.

However, a .40-caliber handgun police subsequently found in a bag in the back seat was loaded. Turner, the officer said, did not have a concealed weapons permit.

“It has to be in plain view and unloaded,” Roberts said about firearms carried in vehicles by people who don’t have concealed weapons permits.

Roberts said Turner, a military veteran, told them he never intended to alarm anyone.

“He was exercising his right to open carry,” Roberts said.

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