An Acadia National Park ranger sits in a truck on Schooner Head Road on April 11, 2019. Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN Credit: Bill Trotter / BDN

An Ohio man who allegedly had been drinking and had loaded firearms in his rented pickup truck was arrested Saturday in Acadia National Park after being tazed while running away from park rangers.

Kirill Novikov, 52, did not have a concealed weapons permit when park rangers found three guns — two of which were loaded and had rounds in their firing chamber — in his vehicle, according to an affidavit filed Monday in federal court by Darren Belskis, deputy chief ranger for Acadia.

State law requires that any visitor to Acadia who is in possession of a firearm either have a concealed weapons permit with them, or to have that firearm be “rendered temporarily inoperable or packed, cased or stored in a manner that prevents its ready use.” Federal law requires national parks to have firearms policies that are consistent with  local state laws.

Belskis and other rangers came across Novikov near an unused ranger cabin in the Schoodic section of the park on Saturday, when they were on regular patrol, according to the affidavit. Novikov approached the rangers and “appeared confused and anxious and indicated he was looking for a hiking trail but did not know where it was,” Belskis wrote.

“When asked if he was feeling okay, Novikov indicated he had an intestinal issue, possibly from some water he drank,” the ranger said.

The rangers got out of their vehicle to check around the cabin and, after Novikov told them where he had parked his rented Ford F-150 truck nearby, he walked off toward a trail. The rangers then looked through the window of the truck and saw a handgun “under the center armrest in plain view.”

Novikov had walked off but, a short time later, rangers encountered him walking back and stopped him to ask if he had a concealed weapons permit with him. Novikov said he did not and, after rangers asked him to wait so they could run his name through an active arrest warrant database, he took off running back toward his truck.

Novikov ignored the rangers’ orders to stop. Ranger Dwayne Gruver tried unsuccessfully to shoot Novikov with a taser while chasing after him. Belskis then shot Novikov with his taser, causing the Ohio man to tumble to the ground, where he then was arrested.

Rangers then searched Novikov’s truck and found in the driver’s cab a Ruger MK III .22-long-rifle-caliber handgun, two 9 mm handguns (of which one was loaded and one was not), “numerous” loaded 9 mm magazines, an open glass bottle of Seagrams Escapes Peach Bellini, two devices that appear to be homemade firearms suppressors or silencers, and hard body armor plates in a carrier, according to the affidavit.

Novikov has been charged with possession of a weapon, possession of a loaded weapon in a motor vehicle, interference with agency functions, and possessing an open container of alcohol. He has been held since Saturday at the Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth, and on Monday pleaded not guilty to all four charges.

At a detention hearing on Wednesday, a judge agreed to allow Novikov to be released Thursday morning on $2,500 bond. 

The affidavit noted that Novikov’s rental agreement with Enterprise, which owns the truck, appears to have expired in July and that rangers were trying to get more information from the car rental company about the status of the truck.

Novikov’s defense attorney, Erik Crocker of Bangor, did not respond to a request for comment about the allegations against his client.

Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....