February 18, 2020
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Maine man in jail for alleged elementary school theft accused of assaulting jail officer

Courtesy of Knox County Jail
Courtesy of Knox County Jail
Brian Burch

ROCKLAND, Maine — A man accused of stealing medications from an elementary school allegedly assaulted a Knox County Jail corrections officer last week after being confronted about potentially having drugs in his cell.

Brian Burch, 26, of Rockland is being held at the Knox County Jail on charges of theft of drugs, burglary and criminal mischief after his arrest earlier this month. Burch is accused of breaking into a Rockland elementary school last month and stealing student medications.

Last week, jail staff received information that indicated Burch might have procured illegal drugs while being held at the facility, according to Knox County Sheriff Tim Carroll.

When corrections officers went to confront Burch about the suspected drugs, he allegedly tried to dispose of the drugs in his cell’s toilet, Carroll said. Burch allegedly resisted when officers tried to take the drugs and restrain him, resulting in an officer suffering minor injuries.

Both the officer and Burch were medically evaluated following the altercation, Carroll said, and both men were cleared.

As a result of the incident, Burch was charged with assault and trafficking prison contraband.

Burch continues to be held at the Knox County Jail on $10,000 cash bail. He was arrested May 4 by Thomaston police after he crashed a car he allegedly stole. At the time of the crash, Burch was arrested on a warrant from Rockland Police, which was the department investigating the elementary school break-in.

Early in the morning of April 20, after reportedly being kicked out of a bar, Burch allegedly broke into the South School, smashing windows until he gained entry into the nurse’s office, where student medications are kept.

Investigators believe that Burch was still inside the school when officers arrived because they found a flashlight and bags of medications strewn inside and outside the school. All the medications that were taken from the school were retrieved, according to police.

In 2016, Burch was convicted of breaking into the same school, though no medications were stolen during that incident.

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