ELLSWORTH, Maine — Hancock County prosecutors dropped charges Thursday against a Bucksport man arrested for pushing to get into his burning home two months ago against police orders because he mistakenly thought his wife was inside.
Bucksport police arrested Timothy Jerome, 61, on charges of refusing to submit and obstructing government administration. He allegedly interfered with police and firefighters handling the aftermath of an arson at his Town Farm Road home on Nov. 11 that was allegedly set by his wife, Aza Jerome Vasylyk.
His attorney, Jacob Ferm, said that prosecutors recognized that Jerome was distraught at the possible death of his wife and lacked criminal intent.
“This was a man acting perhaps a little irrationally or rationally who thought his wife was in danger and going into a house to check for her or evidence of where she might be,” Ferm said Thursday.
Vasylyk, 56, allegedly set five fires and strung toilet paper along the floor throughout the couple’s home before disappearing into the woods of Bucksport and Orland for eight days. She was charged with arson when she was found by the Craig Brook National Fish Hatchery in Orland.
Jerome struggled with whether to bail his wife out of the Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth, he said in late November, because of her declining mental health.
He took his wife back into their home on Dec. 24 to help her deal with her mental health issues, and it’s been difficult, he said. Vasylyk has twice disappeared for a day and a night, most recently returning on Sunday with a bad case of frostbite, Jerome said. The Ukrainian-born painter refuses to speak to him or speak English, or to take medication or seek medical help.
She remains free on $1,000 bail and is due in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court on March 12, a clerk said.