CLIFTON, Maine — A Clifton man with Tourette syndrome, claustrophobia and a beef with his local post office may also face federal charges after being arrested and charged with terrorizing Tuesday afternoon.
“At 3 p.m., we received a call from a U.S. postal inspector that a man went to the Eddington Post Office because he was mad over a package that had been returned because he wrote the incorrect address on it,” said Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Mark Lloyd.
The man, 42-year-old Wayne Haskell of Clifton, was angry because he had to pay twice for the package to be mailed parcel post, once for the return shipping and once more to send it out again with the corrected address.
“He became angry and started swearing, and looked outside at his Saab and said he was going to go home and get his AR-15, and come back and shoot the place up,” said Lloyd. “He then turned to the clerk and said, ‘I’m not mad at you, just hold the package and I’ll be back.’”
The postal inspector called the Penobscot County Sheriff’s Department to report the incident and Lloyd, who happened to be just a mile away when the call went out, drove to the post office.
The postal clerk showed Lloyd the package Haskell was trying to claim as well as another package that had both Haskell’s name and return address on it. Lloyd left and drove to Haskell’s address.
“On the way over, we ran his name and he had a gun caution under his name,” Lloyd said. “I was initially just going to do a drive by his residence, but I saw him outside the house near his car, so I stopped and ordered him to put his hands up, and then went over to check him.”
Haskell was unarmed and there were no firearms in his car. Haskell told Lloyd there were no weapons in his house either.
“I asked him about the incident and he started getting visibly angry and loud when he talked about the post office and how this has been building up for awhile,” Lloyd recalled. “Apparently this was a culmination of events and his frustration with packages not being delivered.”
Lloyd asked him about his threat to shoot the post office.
“He claimed he knows what an AK-47 is, but didn’t know what an AR-15 was and then said he had Tourette’s,” Lloyd said. “I then placed him in handcuffs, placed him under arrest and charged him with terrorizing.”
Haskell, who was still visibly worked up, according to Lloyd, wasn’t taking things calmly.
“I had difficulty getting him in the car because of his Tourette’s and him getting worked up, and then he said he was getting claustrophobic,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd also found out that Haskell had back surgery on Monday.
“I initially got him into my cruiser, but he was flailing around and we were worried he might hurt himself with his back, so then Holden came over with a cruiser with a cage [caged prisoner enclosure in the back seat], but that didn’t work,” Lloyd said.
In the meantime, Penobscot County Sheriff’s Detective Robert Jordan and Deputy Jim Ellis arrived to help out.
The officers decided to call and request Brewer ambulance to transport Haskell to Penobscot County Jail, which the service did, with Lloyd following behind in his cruiser.
Haskell was booked at the jail, charged with terrorizing, and was then released after he paid a $60 personal recognizance bail fee.
“He was calm with us after getting settled in the ambulance and at the jail,” Lloyd said. “It was just being in the cruiser that had him upset.”
Haskell was scheduled to make an April 18 court appearance at Penobscot Judicial Center in Bangor, and could face other charges.
“The federal postal inspector may be meeting with him tomorrow and it’s possible he could face federal charges,” Lloyd said.