December 11, 2018
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Man who disappeared into Kenduskeag Stream was fleeing cops, refused help, police say

Members of the Maine Marine Patrol and an Orono-based search and rescue team spent Friday afternoon and early evening searching the Kenduskeag Stream in Bangor for the body of 22-year-old local man without success.

Peter Manuel, 22, of Bangor ran from Bangor police when they responded about 1 a.m. Friday to a report of a fight in the parking of the the Half Acre Nightclub on Harlow Street, Sgt. Wade Betters, police spokesman, said.

DEEMI Search and Rescue teams will resume the search Saturday morning, according to director Richard Bowie. Using a drone that takes high resolution images, a black sneaker was found on top of the ice in the stream behind the Penobscot County Jail. It was identified as belonging to Manuel, Bowie said.

Manuel attended Bangor High School and was a member of the track team and cross country teams, according to Adam Goode, who coached the cross country team from 2011 to 2013.

“Teenagers sometimes box themselves in by just doing what they are good at,” Goode said Friday night. “Peter was better at track than cross country but he stayed with cross country. His being on the team was helpful for the larger group.”

His homelife also was more difficult than his peers, Liana Stanhope, whose son, Jonathan Stanhope, ran track and cross country with Manuel, said Friday. The boys were best friends all through middle and high school.

“We thought a lot of Peter,” she said in an email. “He was a good kid and tried his best to fit in since he was homeless for a long time. He was at our house for many meals, sleepovers, and holidays. We included him in all these special times so he could also experience them. He was always very grateful for anything we did for him.

“He was always polite to me and called me ‘Mrs. Jonathan’ and I called him son,” she continued.. “We treated him as if he was another son. We tried to instill values, and give him advice about life. It’s just heartbreaking that he died so young. We will always miss him, but have many fond memories from the time we spent together.”

Manuel, who was on bail for allegedly violating a July criminal trespass order, ran from officers when they tried to talk with him. He went behind the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building, after jumping a fence, and into the stream, according to Betters.

A short time later, Manuel was spotted standing at the foot of a steep embankment where officers repeatedly tossed him rescue lines in order to help him climb up the bank, Betters said. Manuel refused their offer of assistance and jumped back into the stream.

Members of the Bangor Fire Department were called to help with the rescue. Manuel sat on a piece of ice in the stream but refused to come to shore or grab a life preserver offered by firefighters, Betters said.

Manuel disappeared under the water. He is presumed drowned.

The Marine Patrol was called because the stream is considered to be tidal water.

Officers searched without success along the shore of the stream behind Harlow Street from 5:30 to 7:30 a.m. and again in the early evening Friday, Department of Marine Resources spokesman Jeff Nichols said.

Manuel was scheduled to appear March 23 at the Penobscot Judicial Center on a motion to revoke his bail, according to the court clerk’s office.

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