BELFAST, Maine — Police arrested a man Sunday afternoon in connection with a February bar attack in downtown Belfast that left a man so badly injured that he has needed several surgeries and might need more, according to Chief Mike McFadden of the Belfast Police Department.
Richard B. Fredette, 40, of Albion, is charged with assault and aggravated assault in connection with a Feb. 17 incident at a bar on Front Street. Police said that during a fight, Fredette hit another man in the face with a beer bottle. The other man was taken to Waldo County General Hospital in an ambulance while Fredette left the scene, at first hailing a ride in a taxicab and later getting out of town in a vehicle, McFadden surmised. No one — not even the victim — knew the identity of the mystery assailant.
“The case went somewhat cold after many interviews with people in the bar and no one knew who the suspect was,” the chief said.
But thanks to security camera footage, there were good, clear photos of the suspect, McFadden said, and a tip that the man might be from the Albion area. Detective Sgt. Bryan Cunningham took those pictures with him to Albion and began knocking on doors, McFadden said.
“He spent the day canvassing the Albion area, and one of the contacts paid off,” the chief said.
The payoff happened not long after Cunningham’s visit to Albion, when a woman he’d talked to called the Belfast police to report that she’d seen the man in the photos and had jotted down his license plate number.
“We were able to determine the individual that we were looking for and the individual we’d just received information on were one and the same,” McFadden said. “It was a combination of technology and good, old-fashioned police work.”
Fredette was arrested Sunday by the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office and taken to Waldo County Jail in Belfast, where he remained Monday on bail set at $1,000 cash or $5,000 surety.
McFadden added that he was disappointed with how low bail was set.
“The bail is set substantially lower than the severity of the charges would warrant,” he said.