Ellsworth Police Log: Violent vandalism done to man’s vehicle

ELLSWORTH — Police are investigating vandalism to a local man’s vehicle done with a bladed tool of some type.

The Deane Street resident reported the damage, which included a hole and a dent in a door, on the morning of Sept. 23.

“It looks like someone took an ax to the side of the car,” said Detective Dotty Small, adding that it might have been a hatchet.

Whatever tool was used, Small said it caused “a substantial amount of damage to the car.” The case remains under investigation.

Political problem

On Sept. 21, an employee at the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce called and asked that a pickup truck be removed from the parking lot “for displaying Trump political signs.”

The management and owners of the shopping center relayed to the chamber that they wanted the truck removed “because their policy is no vendors or political stuff — only business dealings.”

Mistaken identity

On Sept. 21, an employee at a Bucksport Road auto shop “reported a hit and run to a vehicle that was parked in his parking lot.”

Police said an investigation determined the complainant had actually “struck the vehicle with his trailer that he was hauling when he pulled into the driveway.”

Marijuana at EHS

On Sept. 23, an employee at Ellsworth High School asked police to come to school because a student was found to be in possession of marijuana.

Police responded, investigated, and sent a report to the District Attorney’s Office for review.

Whose word is right?

On Sept. 24, a man reported an assault on State Street. Police said the other party involved “advised it was self-defense,” and the matter was referred to the District Attorney’s Office.

Going slow for safety

On Sept. 25, a motorist called police to say she was following a black Jaguar with Massachusetts plates that was operating under the speed limit and blocking people from passing him in the passing lanes.

The driver of the Jag later said “he was trying to be cautious,” because a slow-moving motorcycle was in front of him and he did not want to pass the bike. The Jag driver said he did not realize he was keeping other drivers from passing.

Pizza is a gift

On Sept. 26, a citizen turned in a $25 gift card to Finelli Pizzeria. Police called Finelli’s and found the cards “were left around town as part of a promotion.” The card was returned to its original finder.

Thefts and other losses

On Sept. 26, a Foster Street resident reported her cell phone (valued at $50) missing. The woman said “she believes she knows who took it but she has no proof.”

Norita Gale, 57, of Hancock, was summoned Sept. 23 and charged with theft by unauthorized taking or transfer. Gale is alleged to have stolen a pair of shoes valued at $60 from Marden’s on Sept. 12, and the act was captured on video.

On Sept. 22, a Mariaville Road landowner “reported squatters on her newly developed land.” The uninvited guests reportedly “set up a tent” and took unspecified items.

That same day, a woman came into the police station to report that her purse, containing cards, her identification and $180, was taken while she was at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital.

On Sept. 21, a woman told police her cell phone and case, valued at $1,000, “were stolen from her shopping cart after she brought the cart back into the store and had left the phone and case in the cart.”

On Sept. 18, Walmart staff told police a shoplifter left the store and refused to stop for store employees. The woman, who was not immediately identified, reportedly left behind the diaper bag in which she had concealed $70.30 worth of merchandise.

On Sept. 18, police received a report that an iPhone 6s valued at $850 (and its associated LifeProof-brand case, valued at $130) had been taken from the lobby of the emergency room at Maine Coast Memorial Hospital.

On Sept. 17, Olympia Sports reported a pair of Nike sneakers valued at $125 stolen from the store in the Maine Coast Mall.

A Christian Ridge Road resident told police on Sept. 16 that his house had been vandalized. Sgt. Shawn Willey responded, collected evidence, and planned to speak with a suspect.


Cassandra Jo Murchison, 23, of Mount Desert was arrested Sept. 27 on High Street on seven warrants charging her with unpaid fines and failure to appear in court on a variety of earlier charges.

Meghan L. Chilton, 22, of Ellsworth, OUI on Sept. 24. Chilton was stopped during an OUI detail.

John Foster, 39, of Ellsworth, violation of bail on Deane Street Sept. 18. Police said Foster was “found in a residence he was prohibited from being in.”

Three days later, Foster was again arrested on Deane Street. On Sept. 21, he was charged with violations of conditions of release, misuse of 911 and false public report or alarm.

Richard Brooks, 40, a transient, was arrested Sept. 17 shortly before 1 a.m. on two warrants charging him with failure to pay fines.

Brooks, who was found at Harbor Park on Water Street, also was summoned on a charge of possession of a usable amount of marijuana.

Brandie Higgins, 42, of Eastbrook, possession of oxycodone and lorazepam and a probation violation, both on Water Street.

Also arrested as part of the same traffic stop as Higgins was David Vaughn, 30, of Ellsworth. He was charged with a probation violation. Police said both were taken to the Hancock County Jail without incident.


Stephen N. Cowles, 47, of Hancock, assault and criminal trespass on Red Bridge Road Sept. 25. Police said Cowles “trespassed at a residence, and when confronted assaulted the homeowner.”

Following the incident, Cowles was taken — at his request — to Maine Coast Memorial Hospital for an evaluation.

Zackary McGraw, 18, of Ellsworth, possession of a usable amount of marijuana on Windsor Way Sept. 24.

Megan Morin, 32, of Ellsworth, operating after suspension on Myrick Street Sept. 24. She was also ticketed, accused of failing to provide proof of insurance.

Phillip Torrey, 44, of Winter Harbor, passing a stopped school bus with its lights flashing on High Street Sept. 22.

Amanda Griffin, 35, of Trenton, operating after suspension, possession of Schedule Z drugs (prescription strength ibuprofen pills) and violation of bail, all on the Mariaville Road Sept. 16.

Traffic violations

Merle F. Newenham Jr., 47, of Milbridge, texting while driving on Route 1A Sept. 21.

Randy Lester, 45, of Charleston, failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle on Route 1A Sept. 18.

Josiah E. Estabrook, 21, of Ellsworth, unnecessary acceleration noise on High Street Sept. 18.

Speeding tickets

Ryan C. Hatt, 23, of Columbia, Maine, 64 mph in a 45-mph zone on Route 179 Sept. 26.

Peter K. Frye, 59, of Hermon, 34 mph in a 25-mph zone on the Surry Road Sept. 15.

John B. Kiernan, 57, of McKinney, Texas, 34 mph in a 25-mph zone on the Bucksport Road Sept. 15.

Charles G. Brown, 50, of Portland, 34 mph in a 25-mph zone on the Bucksport Road Sept. 15.

Kacie S. Whitmore, 17, of Ellsworth, 72 mph in a 55-mph zone on Route 1A Sept. 15.

Matthew W. Pulley, 48, of Bangor, 70 mph in a 55-mph zone on Route 1A Sept. 15.

Mustafa A. Alessa, 33, of Medford, Mass., 69 mph in a 55-mph zone on Route 1A Sept. 10.

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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