Eastbrook residents arrested after burglary, taxi assault

Matthew Hardison
Theresa Graham

ELLSWORTH — Two Eastbrook residents were arrested Sunday after a series of incidents including a burglary where a gun was stolen, an alleged assault on a taxi driver and one of the two locking himself in a pizza shop bathroom in an apparent attempt to evade police.

When the evening was over, 32-year-old Theresa Graham was in jail after being arrested on a warrant charging her with drug trafficking. Matthew Hardison, 36, also was arrested and faces multiple charges including burglary, theft of a firearm, theft, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and violation of conditions of release.

The events that led to the arrests of Graham and Hardison began around 5:15 p.m. Sunday. That was when Ellsworth police received a complaint that two customers — who turned out to be Graham and Hardison — had assaulted a taxi driver at the Hampton Inn after getting a ride in the taxi.

The alleged assault victim did not want to pursue charges, according to police. While officers were investigating the complaint, however, another call came in about a burglary on a short road off of the Surry Road. Police learned “numerous items,” including a gun, had allegedly been taken in the course of that burglary.

While investigating the assault complaint, police also found Graham had the warrant charging her with drug trafficking. She was arrested on that warrant, then told police she wanted to get items from her hotel room. When that occurred, police saw items they suspected were connected to the burglary. Officers also learned the taxi had picked up Graham and Hardison on the same short road where the burglary occurred.

Police went to work securing a search warrant for the room at the Hampton Inn.

Hardison, meanwhile, had “fled the scene [at the Hampton Inn] prior to law enforcement arrival.” Police soon got a call, however, from Finelli Pizzeria about a “suspicious” man who had locked himself in the bathroom at the restaurant and been in there for an extended period of time.

The description provided by staff at Finelli’s of the man holed up in their bathroom matched Hardison’s description. Officers went to the pizzeria, found Hardison and initially arrested him on the violations of conditions of release charge.

When police executed the search warrant at the hotel room, officers recovered “stolen property from the burglary,” including the firearm, a .32-caliber Winchester Special. Police said other items found included containers of coins and urns that contained the ashes of dead pets.

Those discoveries led to the additional charges against Hardison.

Police said the case remains under investigation, that more charges are possible and that there was potentially a second burglary.

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller worked at The Ellsworth American from 2012 to early 2018. He covered the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast's Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland.
Steve Fuller

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