SOUTHWEST HARBOR, Maine — A Sedgwick man has been arrested and likely will face multiple charges after punching a police officer in the face at a local store and then running into nearby woods, according to police.
Thomas A. Powell, 20, was caught by police around 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the woods behind Gott’s Store on Route 102. Powell, who had a warrant out for his arrest, is accused of assaulting Hancock County Deputy Sheriff Rob Morang when Morang came across him at the store and tried to detain him.
Officers with seven different law enforcement agencies came to Morang’s aid after Morang reported around 6:15 p.m. that he had been assaulted. Among the responding officers was Sgt. Alden Bustard of the Maine State Police who helped track Powell down with a state police dog.
According to Hancock County Sheriff William Clark, Morang was headed into the store shortly after 6 p.m. as Powell was headed out. Morang knew Powell was wanted for failing to meet his drug court obligations and so stopped him, Clark said.
As Morang was leading Powell away from the store entrance, Powell allegedly “sucker punched” Morang in the face and pulled Morang’s jacket over his head before punching him a few more times and then running away, according to the sheriff.
Police took Morang to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth. Police believe his injuries were not serious.
After Powell was caught, police took photographs of a two-door Toyota car parked outside the store and then had the car towed away. Lt. Tim Cote of the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department said the car is Powell’s.
Clark said that he believes Powell was in drug court after having been arrested two years ago in Ellsworth on charges of trafficking in cocaine. Powell and two other people were charged in April 2007 after police had been following them and then pulled them over on Route 1A. In the car and then later at one of their houses, police found a total of more than 90 grams of cocaine worth nearly $10,000, police said at the time.
Cote said law enforcement officials from Acadia National Park, the Maine Warden Service, Maine State Police, Bar Harbor, Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor assisted in apprehending Powell on Tuesday.