June 20, 2018
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Otis man arrested at gunpoint after brandishing rifle at fellow motorist

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

BREWER, Maine — An Otis man was arrested at gunpoint on Wilson Street late Wednesday afternoon after allegedly brandishing a rifle at a fellow motorist.

Brandon DeRaps, 20, reportedly showed a gun through his truck’s windshield after he became frustrated about being unable to pass the driver ahead of him, Holden police Sgt. Eugene Fizell said Wednesday night.

“He said he was running late for class,” Fizell said. “He lifted [the firearm] up and made it visible before placing it on the floor of the seat beside him.”

DeRaps was arrested on a charge of threatening with a dangerous weapon, a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison, and taken to Penobscot County Jail, Fizell said. He said DeRaps was released on bail Wednesday evening.

An Internet search, which was verified by his date of birth, showed that DeRaps is studying conservation law enforcement at Beal College.

The incident that led to DeRaps’ arrest began about 3:45 p.m. on U.S. Route 1A in Dedham, Fizell said. It continued through Holden before it was brought to an end in Brewer, while DeRaps was waiting at a red light to make a turn onto Parkway South.

“We saw his truck sitting at the light and blocked him in,” Fizell said. “It was a felony stop so we all had our weapons drawn.”

Fizell said he and Brewer police Cpl. Steve Boyd removed DeRaps from his truck at gunpoint.

“He was a bit startled,” Fizell said.

Fizell said the driver of the gold SUV DeRaps was behind called 911 and told dispatchers from the Penobscot Regional Communications Center that the suspect had reached into his back seat, retrieved a firearm and held it up in his windshield.

DeRaps was able to pass the SUV when the two reached the Interstate-395 interchange on outer Wilson Street. The victim initially reported that DeRaps was driving a blue pickup, based on what he could see in his rearview mirror, Fizell said.

Police, using a partial license plate number the victim provided, were able to determine they actually were looking for a Ford SUV, he said.

Nine officers from the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department, the Brewer Police Department and the Maine State Police were sent to strategic locations in the vicinity to make sure DeRaps could not get away on Interstate 395 or other potential escape routes.

The firearm DeRaps reportedly flashed in his windshield, a rifle, was found on the floor beside him. It was confiscated, as was a shotgun that was in the back seat, Fizell said.

“I used his cellphone to call his mother,” Fizell said.

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