Machias man indicted on charges of stealing trucks, assaulting rescuerThis article has generated a lively discussion on Bangor Daily News' website (a whopping 29 comments as of this morning).
By Diana Graettinger
MACHIAS, Maine — A 27-year-old Machias man, whom police called a one-man crime spree, was indicted Wednesday on charges involving the theft of three trucks and a blow with a shovel to the head of a good Samaritan trying to keep him from burning up in a truck fire.
The incident began during the cold, snowy, early morning hours of Jan. 31.
“It was near-whiteout conditions,” Deputy Richard Rolfe of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department said Thursday.
[Franklin] Perry left a party in Lubec, but did not have a ride back to Machias so he began walking along Route 189, a distance of about 30 miles.
“He underestimated the distance from Lubec to Machias,” Rolfe said.
While snow pounded the area, Perry stopped at a local trash dealer’s house and found keys inside the man’s 2001 GMC pickup truck. Rolfe said Perry drove the truck about six miles when he ran the vehicle off the road and into the woods.
The Machias man abandoned the truck and walked about a mile when he spotted another truck parked at a residence. The 1989 GMC truck also had the keys inside. He got halfway onto the road when the truck got stuck, and, desperate to get moving, he revved the engine several times and the truck caught fire, Rolfe said.
A neighbor, hearing the commotion and seeing the fire, grabbed a shovel, a flashlight and a fire extinguisher and went to help.
“Frank Perry was lying down in the seat at that point,” Rolfe said. “[The neighbor] dropped his shovel and other stuff on the ground and pulled [Perry] from the [burning] vehicle.”
Perry then picked up the shovel and allegedly whacked the good Samaritan on the head, Rolfe said. The man suffered minor injuries to the right side of his head.
“[The injured man] had an orange stocking cap on which was rolled and that took some of the blow,” Rolfe said.
Lubec firefighters were called to the burning truck. They put out the fire and then saw footprints in the snow and followed them.
Perry continued up the road and came upon a parked car at another residence, Rolfe said. This time the keys were gone, but he found a plastic bag full of change that the owner kept to do her laundry and took that, the deputy said.
From there, Perry walked to a nearby residence where he found a 1999 Dodge pickup truck also with its keys inside.
When firefighters arrived, the pickup’s owner was standing in his driveway. He told them his truck had just been stolen.
“Frank didn’t make it one-half mile before he went off the road with that one,” Rolfe said. “He took out one of those post and cable guardrails. He rolled over one of those and that basically slowed him down enough so he didn’t roll down over the bank.”
At that point a parade of people were following the footprints in the snow that ended in Whiting where firefighters and some of the victims came upon Perry. They held him until police arrived.
Perry was taken to the Washington County Jail where his blood alcohol level registered at 0.15, nearly twice the state’s legal limit of 0.08.
Rolfe said that when he talked to Perry, he confessed to taking the three trucks but denied he hit anyone with a shovel.
Read full article here: [Source]
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
More confused Maine criminals
Thanks to Julia for pointing this doozy out! Wow. I wish I had footage of this, especially the parade of people following the culprit's footprint trail through the snowstorm! Glad he didn't smack his rescuer with more than a shovel. Jeepers.