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Officer issued tickets for September car crash

By Stephen Betts | Feb 12, 2021

Rockport — A police officer with the Camden and Rockport departments was issued tickets for a September car crash that injured the driver of the other vehicle.

Wesley W. Butler, 37, of Hope, was issued tickets by the Knox County Sheriff's Office for failure to maintain control of motor vehicle and a first offense not being secured in seatbelt.

The crash occurred on the afternoon of Sept. 14 on Route 1 in Rockport ,near the entrance to Pen Bay Medical Center.

A 2020 Ford Explorer, driven by George Abendroth, 65, of Rockport, was stopped in the southbound lane waiting to make a left turn across northbound traffic, when he was rear-ended by a 2020 GMC pickup, driven by Butler. Butler was not on duty at the time of the crash.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office was asked to investigate the crash because Butler is employed by the town.

The drivers of both vehicles and a juvenile passenger in the GMC were treated and released at the scene for injuries. Both vehicles were towed. Abdendroth said his vehicle was deemed a total loss and that he suffered injuries to his spinal column and lower extremities.

Police said at the time of the crash that operator inattention/distraction on the part of Butler was considered a factor.

Knox County Sheriff's Officer John Palmer issued the tickets shortly after the crash, but had to re-issue them because the Maine Violations Bureau dismissed the original tickets because of a delay in processing them.

A date before the Violations Bureau has not yet been scheduled.

The fine for not wearing a seat belt is $50.

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Comments (6)
Posted by: Stephen Betts | Feb 17, 2021 07:43


When there are car crashes, newspapers report if anyone was issued summonses. In this case, the case was under investigation at the time of the crash. I followed up to report on what happened. Nothing more, nothing less.

Steve Betts

Posted by: CATHY TRUEMAN | Feb 16, 2021 16:56

So this is newsworthy of its own article why?  Because Mr. Butler happens to be in Law Enforcement?  I can see where this might merit an article had he been in uniform and on duty... or just in off duty, but uniform and in a town vehicle.  But he was at that time, a father in his own car, on his own time.  We are all human, and sometimes we make mistakes.  Our children can be distracting whether intentional or by being too quiet.  Out of concern as a parent we may feel we have to check them and it may be at the wrong time. Accidents happen. That's exactly why they call them accidents.


I would also bet that there have been other tickets dismissed, especially since last March, due to delays.  They aren't deemed news worthy though.  I find it sad to see the implications that are made in the comments, and that this is because of his occupation.  Arthur Smith was not even mentioned in the article, and thus his name has no business being brought up in a comment.  The town appears to have to done the right thing by bringing in the Knox County Sheriff's Office.  So I have to ask... Steve, why is this worthy of an article?  Aren't the police allowed to be parents/citizens/humans when they are off duty?  Mr. Doucette, why are you dragging names in that are not even involved?


How about we take that extra step and be fair to EVERYONE...  Just a thought.

Posted by: David Klosko | Feb 13, 2021 16:46

Phil, I totally agree

Posted by: Nina Reed | Feb 13, 2021 05:08

While I do not share all of Mr. Doucette's opinions, I do have to agree in that this is just par for the course with the law enforcement in this country. Frankly, I think the tickets were a very poor tactic to try and convince the public that he isn't "untouchable". It's no wonder that hostility toward police is growing. I've been very fortunate in that most all of my interactions with police were very positive, even if I got a ticket. (If I got a ticket-just know it was something I could have avoided but chose to ignore it.) I understand that the police are under a huge amount of scrutiny and it makes it harder for them to do their job every day, however none of this is any excuse for not applying the same standards of law enforcement to those who are calling us out for the same offenses. ~Melanie Keene

Posted by: Phil Arsenault | Feb 12, 2021 19:19

Don’t be so quick to judge Michael. Palmer is a SGT and people make mistakes. KSO is a great dept and Arthur and Wes are great officers.

Posted by: Michael Timothy Doucette | Feb 12, 2021 13:35

Imagine that dismissed, yet no word of it before. An you can bet nothing will happen to Butler. He is right back out there writing summons for the same thing he did. People that know him and see him driving notice him with his phone texting and driving. Although it’s ok for him, he’ll write someone for the same. I’m sure Deputy Palmer was persuaded to slow the process to the violations bureau by supervisor, such as SGT Arthur Smith whom is best friends with Butler. They all hide behind that thin blue line. Last time I checked they are equal to or even held to a higher standards then us civilians. Although most consider themselves above the law.

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