A fight broke out in Pickering Square Tuesday afternoon, when a 22-year-old man allegedly punched a police officer, forcing the two into a heated scuffle that required a second officer to wrestle the man into handcuffs.
Brett Libby reportedly took a swing at Officer George Spencer because he disagreed with the arrest of a homeless teen that took place just moments earlier, according to witnesses and Bangor Sgt. Wade Betters.
The teen was arrested just after 2 p.m. by Officer Duncan Bowie because he is a suspect in unrelated theft, Betters said.
Spencer, the city’s veteran downtown footbeat officer who regularly patrols Pickering Square, a popular mingling spot where arrests are fairly common, had just helped Bowie take the 17-year-old into custody.
Several people starting yelling at the officers as the boy was placed in a cruiser, protesting the arrest because several felt protective of the homeless teen, according to bystanders. The shouting turned violent when three or four “closed in on Spencer,” Betters said, and one of them, Libby, started punching the cop in the head, Betters and witnesses said.
The pair rolled to the ground as Spencer fought back, and the cop — with Bowie’s help — eventually pinned Libby down and placed him under arrest. Several more officers descended on the square as the fight came to an end.
Libby, who is homeless, was booked at the Penobscot County Jail and faces several charges, including felony assault on an officer, Betters said.
A woman — Mariah Lamb, 23 — was also arrested during the fracas and charged with disorderly conduct class and refusing to submit to arrest.
As a precaution, Spencer was taken to be medically evaluated at a local hospital, Betters said.
Fights in broad daylight are not common in Pickering Square, Betters said, even though the busy brick plaza is a place that police closely monitor.
Over the next week, police will increase their patrols in that area, the sergeant said.
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