Man with a gun call in Portland ME...


July 17, 2009, 03:44 PM
Not too news worthy, but I thought there were some good pictures of the men in blue in action. Turns out they could not find a gun, but I know when I have to wonder around those particular streets... I have mine.

News Story Here....

PORTLAND — A section of Congress Street was shut down for more than an hour Thursday as police investigated reports of a man pointing a gun out a fourth-floor window.

Officers drew a crowd of onlookers as they took up positions armed with assault weapons and established a perimeter outside 658 Congress St., but ultimately no arrests were made.

Police said a search of the apartment where the alleged gunman was spotted turned up no gun. They briefly took into custody and interviewed two men and one juvenile, all of whom were released, prompting anger from those who had reported the incident.

"You're just going to let them go?" yelled Frank Fournier, who described an escalating neighborhood dispute and said that just before he saw a gun, someone in the apartment had dropped beer bottles onto the ground.

Fournier also said that the men had time to hide or discard a gun before police arrived.

Police were called to the four-story building about 12:45 p.m. They kept onlookers at either end of the block bounded by High and State streets as officers developed a plan for entering the building, not knowing whether a gunman might be inside.

Police, some using protective shields, entered the building and took into custody two people who were found in a stairwell and matched descriptions given by witnesses. Police then contacted the apartment tenant, who let police in to search it.

They turned up no gun or other contraband, said Capt. Ted Ross, head of patrol for the department.

Fournier said confrontations with the men questioned Thursday and others in the neighborhood have led to his being charged twice with assault.

"They sent me to jail and said I'm a vigilante, just for being forced to defend everybody," he said.

Ross said police cannot charge someone merely based on witnesses' accounts without any evidence to support the charge.

"Without locating a handgun, we can't just arbitrarily arrest people," he said.

The police will continue to investigate the incident, Ross said. He urged residents and workers in the area not to allow the dispute to escalate, and to let police complete their investigation.

Peter Comeau, who works as a laborer and security guard for Fournier, said disputes in the area have been growing. He said there have been confrontations involving knives, so he armed himself with a gun.

Comeau said Thursday that after the beer bottles dropped, one of the men pointed a gun down toward the sidewalk.

"I looked up and I saw a big chrome handgun," he said.

Dick Stetson, who works at a barber shop next door, said some of the men at the apartment building have started hanging out in the street, and that there have been hostile encounters with them.

"They almost pushed me over," he said.

Ross said there have been disturbances associated with the apartment, according to building managers, but he could not be more specific.

Two of the suspects released by police declined to comment about the incident when questioned by several members of the media, although one of them was laughing and saying that there had been no gun.

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July 17, 2009, 04:45 PM
I am visiting my parents in Portland (my home town). My wife and I were shopping downtown in this block. I had gone into a smoke shop across the street and about 100 feet from the building to buy some stuff. When I walked out the police officer in front of the shop was moving people down the sidewalk. Some guy complained saying "a handgun can't hurt you this far away" (OK - this was Portland so he actually said this faaah.)

I thought about pointing out what a big hole a handgun could make in him from 150 feet away but the LEO handled it OK and Portland is anti-gun country, so I moved along.

Big complaint on the local news last night about how long it took officers to enter the building.

July 17, 2009, 04:51 PM
Guessing by the way the "suspects" were dressed, I'd imagine whoever made the report about a man with a gun saw something else protruding instead.


July 18, 2009, 09:41 AM
There have been some tense situations in Portland in the last few months, including the shooting in two different incidents of Somalian men, one of them on the streets by the PD.

Yes, Portland is about as Anti Gun as it gets, but I respect the PD.

Things have changed a lot. Just about daily armed robberies on the west end, and where I grew up in Kennedy park and that area... well... it is a ghetto, no getting around it.

I live 30 minutes out of the city now, but that just means fewer incidents, but most of them involving guns.

July 18, 2009, 09:54 AM
Why has Portland become so dangerous the last few years?Inquiring minds want to know!

July 18, 2009, 10:04 AM
I wouldn't call it dangerous. It is, and has always been a magnet for immigrants because of the work on the seaport and our generous offerings to those in need. That results in population increase, and as a result all of the good and bad that comes with population increase. Add to it that Portland is a peninsula, so growth is tough... therefore density accommodates all of the new residences. You get a situation where the nice neighborhoods with the big lawns stay nice, and the crowded neighborhoods with low income renting and the housing projects get reconfigured to allow more tenants. I grew up in a housing project building that had 10 3 bedroom units. That same building now houses 20 2 bedroom units.

The City council, and other city agencies are very liberal and fearful of their way of life changing so they just bury their heads in the 70's and 80's and keep moving forward... I think this picture: 20090716_011 sums it up to me...

The scene is grave enough to feel as though you need a carbine (Clearing the building, engaging in a shootout with BG's at some distance, etc...) BUT still the little old lady just mosies by... Apply that to the economic, social and education problems the city faces and you can see a pattern.

And my favorite photo is the one of the suspect being released. THAT should have made the paper because the last time there was a MWAG call in Portland, the suspect... also Somalian was shot dead. A good shooting too, but the PPD was ripped apart... but no... the front page photo was a cop with an AR... or as they pointed out in the Press Herald Newspaper ( an "Assault Weapon".

It was either that or Mass has spilled over into Maine :) (Just kidding....)

July 18, 2009, 02:41 PM
All that Somali immigration in the 90's brought huge humbers of people into the city, some of whom have a hard time assimilating. I think a church group sponsored them, right?

My parents' neighborhood basically has not changed since the 50's.

mcdonl, is Kennedy Park down there by Franklin Arterial?

July 18, 2009, 03:55 PM
It is tex... I grew up on Boyd and Cumberland, went to the Cathedral school and Church and all... They call it bayside now.

Glad to hear about your parents neighborhood. It must be a good one.

As a young teen I used to ride my bicycle with .22 on strap over shoulder all the way to Falmouth to the Rod and Gun club there. Try doing that today!!

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