State: Bangor man was on way home from jail when he started Rockland standoff

By Stephen Betts | Feb 12, 2018
Photo by: Stephen Betts Timothy St. Thomas, standing, made his initial appearance Monday, Feb.. 12, in Knox County Unified Court.

Rockland — A 62-year-old Bangor man who police say created a nearly five-hour standoff at a downtown hotel had stopped in Rockland on his way home from a jail term.

Timothy N. St. Thomas was arrested shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Trade Winds Inn and charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, two counts of disorderly conduct and criminal trespass.

He was taken to the Knox County Jail in Rockland. On Monday afternoon, Judge Susan Sparaco set bail at $5,000 cash during a hearing held at Knox County Unified Court.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Fernald said St. Thomas had a lengthy criminal record dating back to 1981. The convictions include numerous criminal trespass, assault and threatening offenses. Fernald said St. Thomas had completed a jail sentence Thursday, Feb. 8, at Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset and was heading to Bangor when he stopped for a stay at the Trade Winds.

According to an affidavit filed in court by police, Rockland officers were called to the hotel before 8 a.m. Sunday by the hotel staff, who asked for St. Thomas to be removed.

St. Thomas was screaming in his room when officers arrived. They asked him to come out, but he refused and began barricading the door with items inside the room, according to the affidavit.

Officers got a room key, opened the door, and pushed it open and were met by St. Thomas threatening to kill them and swinging a 4-to-5-foot stick at their heads.

Officers retreated and the standoff began.

There were no injuries.

Officers had been called to the hotel at 4:30 a.m. when he was being disorderly, according to police, but they managed to calm him down.

Rockland Police Chief Bruce Bouchard said Sunday since officers did not know if he had any other weapons in the room, they decided to hold off trying to immediately reenter the room.

The section of the hotel where St. Thomas was located on the fourth floor was cleared, but otherwise guests were able to remain in their rooms. People were coming out of the hotel throughout the standoff, getting in their vehicles and leaving.

Officers from the Maine State Police tactical team tried to talk with St. Thomas, but except for one time when he came out onto the balcony of his room, he did not communicate with them. During that time on the balcony, he was ranting about a variety of things and said he was a veteran and wanted more respect. He also said all he wanted earlier in the morning was food and the dining area was not open, so he got the food himself.

Local attorney William Pagnano, who is also a justice of the peace, signed both a search warrant and an arrest warrant for police before they entered the room to apprehend the Bangor man.

The Trade Winds is on Park Drive across from the Rockland police station. The hotel has 138 rooms and 15 suites.

Harbor Park was closed off as police vehicles staged in back of the station and out of view of the hotel room where St. Thomas was. Park Drive from Main to Winter street was also closed shortly before state police went inside the room.

At Monday's hearing, defense attorney for the day Daniel Purdy said that St. Thomas had been in court two weeks earlier and another judge said he was not mentally fit to be in court.

St. Thomas asked to have an attorney appointed for him.

Fernald had asked for bail to remain at the $10,000 cash set by the bail commissioner on Sunday.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Feb 13, 2018 08:40

Lots of dropped balls here.  First the desk clerk let this guy in. Of course they are not trained to recognise a disruptive individual, Rockland PD is. They should have ran an Id on the first call. Would love to know why that didn't happen. Easy to armchair quarterback, but something went very wrong.



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