A sex offender and ex-convict in northern Maine stole a logging truck, shot four people, and kidnapped a woman before being arrested Friday by state police.
Anthony Lord, 35, rampaged through three peaceful communities including Lee, Benedicta, and Silver Ridge before police were able to catch up to him in Houlton and end his crime spree.
Nearby Lowell resident Rick Jipson, who works as a mechanic, told the Associated Press he wasn’t used to seeing so much action in his shaded community full of grassy apple orchards.
“It’s mind-blowing. To see a SWAT team in Lee or Lincoln is ridiculous.”
State police set up roadblocks to keep people out of the town of Lee and set up a command post at Lee Academy, a private high school, during the manhunt to catch the sex offender.
Lord’s criminal record includes unlawful sexual contact with a minor, assault, and criminal threatening. He was included in the sex offender registry after he was found guilty of sexual contact with someone under 14.
Police are also looking into the death of his 6-month-old son, who was found dead and reported unresponsive by his mother in May in the town of Millinocket.
In what is perhaps a nod to the gun rights community, local resident James Knealand said he and his neighbors didn’t feel they were in danger despite living near a police checkpoint.
“We’re pretty well armed around here.”
Maine gun rights advocates argue crime would go down if more people carried firearms; they say the weapons act as deterrents for would-be criminals.
Police have so far kept mum on the details of the case including the status of the victims, but they’re expected to speak at an afternoon news conference.
The state of Maine has been in the news recently for entirely different reasons.
Earlier this month, Governor Paul LePage literally forgot to veto 19 bills he adamantly opposed, allowing them to become law. Either that or he misunderstood his state’s constitution thinking he could pocket veto the undesired laws.
Then, two days ago, former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, the oldest living former president fell and broke a bone in his neck at his Maine summer home.
The 91-year-old former president was pronounced stable by his doctor, and he is reported to be without disability or paralysis, but will need to wear a neck brace.
The 41st president normally lives in his home state of Texas but visits Maine during the summer with his wife Barbara Bush.
The idyllic state of Maine welcomes all visitors, not just ex-presidents, but would-be criminals are warned to keep away.
[Photo by Ben Torres/Getty Images]