BATH, Maine — A Bath man is charged with robbery after he allegedly brandished a knife and attacked a woman Monday over $20 she owed him for a fish tank.

Scott J. Ryan, 23, allegedly attacked a 30-year-old woman on Beacon Street at about 6:43 p.m. Monday, according to a press release from Bath Police Chief Michael Field. Bath officer Ted Raedel reportedly saw Ryan throwing a knife into some nearby bushes, which he told the officer he had used to protect himself from a woman who had threatened to assault him.

However, interviews with the victim and several witnesses revealed a different story. Officers learned that Ryan allegedly assaulted the woman because he wanted her to pay $20 she owed him for a fish tank. The victim said Ryan attempted to take her purse by pulling it from her arm, but instead knocked her to the ground and dragged her for a short distance. The woman suffered cuts and abrasions to her left arm.

A bystander came to the woman’s aid and was able to free her from Ryan’s grasp. As she fled to a nearby residence, Ryan allegedly chased her while brandishing a knife and demanding the $20.

“The victim stated that she threw $20 onto the ground,” reads the press release. “She was then able to get to her vehicle and leave the area.”

Ryan was charged with Class B robbery and has been released from jail on $500 cash bail. He is scheduled to appear in West Bath District Court on Oct. 9.

Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.