A Georgia man was arrested late Wednesday in connection with incidents that police had described as attempts to abduct women walking in neighborhoods in Bangor, Hampden and Mount Desert Island earlier in the day.
Serdest Ozilice, 23, of Savannah, Georgia, was charged with assault and unlawful sexual touching on Wednesday in connection with what Bangor police Lt. Brent Beaulieu only described as “one of the reported incidents that occurred in Bangor.”
Beaulieu said that police arrested Ozilice after securing “a temporary warrant” that they sought after speaking with him by phone. Ozilice declined to meet with detectives and “indicated that he was leaving the state,” Beaulieu said of the incidents in Bangor and Hampden.
Beaulieu and Ellsworth police earlier Wednesday had issued warnings for residents to be on the lookout for a man driving a dark-colored SUV with out-of-state license plates who had been approaching women in Bangor, Hampden and Mount Desert Island.
“This male is alleged to strike up conversations and [make] the females feel uncomfortable,” Beaulieu said of the incidents in Bangor and Hampden in a statement released shortly before 3 p.m.
Ellsworth police posted a Facebook message at about noon on Wednesday describing the incidents as “recent attempted abductions.” It said that witnesses provided three different descriptions of the man and that two described out-of-state plates. The posting mentioned two incidents in Bangor and one that occurred on Mount Desert Island.
The potential victims were teenage girls and a woman in her 60s, the posting stated.
It was not immediately clear whether investigators had determined the incidents were connected or whether Ozilice was a suspect in anything beyond the single incident for which he has been charged.
Maine’s Criminal Code defines unlawful sexual touching as a Class D offense where the victim has not consented, is under age 14 or suffers from a mental disability, among other things. Class D offenses are crimes that carry up to 364 days incarceration and a $2,000 fine.
Ozilice is being held at Penobscot County Jail, police said.