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Police say man with gun threatened couple after mask confrontation

By Stephen Betts | Sep 14, 2020
Photo by: Stephen Betts

Rockland — An 84-year-old Spruce Head man had his initial court appearance Sept. 14 on a charge that he threatened a couple at a supermarket for not wearing face coverings.

George D. Kibitz is charged with Class C criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon. The incident occurred June 28 at Shaw's Supermarket.

According to police, Kibitz had a gun on him and confronted a 56-year-old man and a woman, whose age was not listed, who were not wearing face coverings as required by state law because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Police say the man made a comment that maybe he would blow away people who are not wearing face coverings.

He did not pull out the gun but it was hidden under his shirt and he pulled up his shirt when making the comment, according to police.

He was released on personal recognizance bail and prohibited from returning to Shaw's and ordered not have contact with the two people.

Since the charge was a felony, no plea was entered at the initial appearance held Sept. 14 at the Knox County court. He is represented by attorneys Eric "Rick" Morse and Robert Levine, according to court papers.

His next court date is Jan. 14.

This was the second incident reported to police this summer in Rockland about face coverings with one party possessing a gun.

Rockland police received a complaint July 27 about a man in line at the Rockland Dunkin Donuts who was not wearing a face covering. The other customer pointed that out and the man reportedly said he could not wear a mask because he was wearing "this" and pulled up his shirt to show a handgun in his waistband.

Rockland Police Chief Christopher Young said after that incident, a further investigation into the matter by reviewing a video showed the man did not pull up his shirt to show a concealed handgun, but instead shifted his body to show the other customer he had a gun.

The man made no other comments and did not brandish the weapon. The store staff was not made aware of the incident until police followed up after the call from the other customer.

The chief said while the video has no audio, the man with the gun did not make any threatening gestures.

In Maine, citizens can legally carry a concealed gun or open carry a gun with a valid permit. Face coverings, however, are required inside stores. Chief Young said July 29 that it is legal in Maine to wear a mask while carrying a gun.

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Comments (8)
Posted by: Lucinda Lang | Sep 16, 2020 09:14

There is STILL NO PLAN in the U.S....The WhiteHouse and the U.S. Senate controlled by McConnell refuse to believe science......those countries/states/areas with plans and mandatory masking is where there is proven success:   "Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus when they are widely used by people in public settings. And countries that required face masks, testing, isolation and social distancing early in the pandemic have successfully slowed the spread of the virus."

Posted by: Valerie Wass | Sep 16, 2020 07:27

And this is what our world has come very very sad

Posted by: Alana Allen | Sep 15, 2020 15:25

Unmasked shoppers or masked gun carriers while GROCERY shopping are both inappropriate. The store would have probably confronted the unmasked shoppers. Having a masked person taking a gun into a grocery store would bother me more. No one knows what people are thinking or NOT thinking during this pandemic. It is not another customers duty to confront another in that way.  I think if someone has a problem, go to the store manager or anyone working there and report it. We are not here to police others. But some love to get that rush of power.

Posted by: Lawrence Edward Galkowski | Sep 15, 2020 12:30

99.5 survival rate. At risk? Old and feeble? Stay home or just worry about yourself. You are not keeping others safe by wearing a mask. You are not building immunity. You are part of the flock sheeple.

Posted by: Robin Gabe | Sep 15, 2020 11:41

In regard to your comment, Francis, the store could always refuse to sell the unmasked masses their groceries when they finish shopping. Of course, then the concealed carry folks might decide to settle the matter in the most extreme way. Both options have happened across the country since masking started being mandated. I just try to take care of my own behavior and wear my mask and follow the arrows (and stay as far away from the unmasked as I can).


Posted by: Peter Root | Sep 15, 2020 07:02

What is this world coming to??

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Sep 14, 2020 19:46

Is Shaw's supposed to hire the police to arrest shoppers that refuse to help protect others? They make announcements about the arrows on the floors, wearing masks and keeping six feet apart is possible and many just ignore it. I question the mentality of people wearing guns to go grocery shopping. If you need a firearm to feel safe , important or whatever you probably need somebody with a couch to talk about these feelings.

Posted by: Sue Heal | Sep 14, 2020 16:46

While Kibit’s reaction to the situation was totally inappropriate, Shaw’s is in violation of the mandate and should be held accountable, as should every public place that allows unmasked customers in their place of business.  They have an obligation to protect their workers and customers.  Mask “requirement” does not leave it up to choice.  We all need to do our part.

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