North Berwick Police Department                                                                                                                                    Business: (207) 676-2751
21 Main Street                                                                                                                                       Dispatch (Non Emergency): (207) 324-3644 ext 1 
North Berwick, ME 03906                                                                                                                                                     Emergency: 911
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North Berwick Police Department Taken Aback by Generosity of a Community and One Special Child

, October 15, 2013

Far too often, we as a society become focused on the big ticket items that we forget that many times the greatest gifts come in small packages, literally and figuratively. The North Berwick Canine Program is a cooperative effort between not only the North Berwick Police Department and the Town of North Berwick, but also many businesses that have made donations to the start-up and maintenance of the program.  Community improvement grants from local businesses such as Pratt & Whitney, Kennebunk Savings, and Hussey Manufacturing, veterinary care from Down Maine Veterinary Clinic and grooming through K-9 Grooming, both of Sanford, ME, Von Woden Kennels in Weld, ME for matching us with Hoki, and Canidae for providing Hoki’s food.  All these organizations came together and with the support of the taxpayers of North Berwick, the program was born.

The North Berwick Police Department has been so grateful for the support we have received, but several weeks ago we received a gift that put a different focus on the program and helped us realize the effect Hoki is having on our Town.  Chief Stephen Peasley received a phone call from Jacqueline Nutter; Jacqueline explained that her daughter, Lilly, age 6, and a friend setup a lemonade stand in North Berwick. The girls worked through the weekend selling lemonade and made $12, which was split evenly between them. When Lilly told her Mom how much money she made, Lilly asked her Mom to call the Police Department because she wanted to donate a portion of her earnings to Hoki to, “buy him something nice”. Both Chief Peasley and Officer Daniel Pelkey, Hoki’s partner, were taken aback by the actions of this young girl. “It isn’t everyday that someone comes in wanting to donate money to a program, let alone a 6-year old making a conscious decision to donate money she earned,” Officer Pelkey said. Officer Pelkey went onto say that, “It’s very easy to get caught up in the politics of the program – become focused on overly expensive items; Lilly’s generosity reminded me of the primary goals of our canine program – help create a safer community and also cultivate positive relationships between community members and the Officers of the North Berwick Police Department.

On August 14, 2013, Jacqueline and Lilly made a special trip to the North Berwick Police Department to present Lilly’s donation to Hoki. “It’s funny, in your mind, whenever you receive a donation, you expect a check, but Lilly handed us an envelope of loose coins, quarters, nickels, dimes. It made me smile because it showed the impact that Hoki is having on the community and I couldn’t be prouder to be his partner. Chief Peasley and Officer Pelkey showed Lilly around the North Berwick Police Department and then she spent some time playing with Hoki. To accompany Lilly’s monetary donation she also presented Hoki with a box of Milk Bones.

Hoki has been serving the North Berwick Police Department for two years. In that time frame he has seen success in tracking and locating armed robbery suspects, burglary suspects, and suicidal subjects; he has also had success in locating a variety of drugs and paraphernalia.  

North Berwick K-9 Unit Tracks Burglary Suspect Through Backyards and City Streets

Saturday, September 21, 2013

On Saturday, September 21, 2013, Sanford Police Officers responded to Jerry's Market on Main Street for a reported alarm activation. When Officers arrived on-scene they found the front door smashed in, Supervisors immediately called for a K-9 Unit to respond and set a perimeter on the exterior of the building.

Officer Daniel Pelkey and K-9 Hoki of the North Berwick Police Department responded. Officer Pelkey and Hoki arrived on-scene and Sanford Officers explained they had yet to clear the building; the alarm company reportedly called and a male answered the phone. Officer Pelkey, Hoki, and Sanford Officers cleared the building and began tracking from the cash register phone.

Hoki tracked down Main Street, through the parking lot of Dairy Queen, before making his way through backyards, and back onto neighborhood streets. Hoki navigated his way through at least a half-dozen intersections.

As Hoki approached Emery Street he pulled down a hill and then stopped. Officer Pelkey was about to call the track, but chose to check International Drive, believing Hoki moved down Emery Street because a breeze may have pulled the odor down the street. As Hoki crossed onto International Drive he moved down the edge of a building and came to a loading dock area. Hoki then became real excited and stuck his head into a hole in a cinder-block foundation; inside Officers located the suspect, a juvenile male, who was in possession of stolen items from the business.

In total the track covered between 1.5 - 2.0 miles of terrain and lasted about 35 minutes. Officer Pelkey and Hoki graduated the 27th K-9 Patrol School and have been partnered together for about two years.

Police Say Drunk Driver's Car Barely Escaped Train Barreling Down on It

Crystal Weyers
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — A motorist police say was under the influence of alcohol had a close call on the railroad tracks this past weekend.

On Saturday, Officer Daniel Pelkey responded to a call about a vehicle being driven southbound on the railroad tracks. According to Chief Stephen Peasley, when Pelkey arrived at the Route 9 overpass he spotted something amiss. A car appeared to be stuck on the main set of tracks.

In the distance, Pelkey spotted the headlight of an Amtrak train barreling down the tracks. The 2013 Volkswagen was not moving. Pelkey immediately had dispatch notify Amtrak of the situation.

The car's driver, Robert J. Grudowski, 45, of 103 Locksley Lane, Wells, was alerted of the incoming train and made it off the main tracks to the secondary tracks as the train passed within just a few feet of the vehicle. The train never came to a halt.

A half-full bottle of Jack Daniel's whisky was found on Grudowski's passenger seat. His blood alcohol content was determined to be .17. Anything at or above .08 while operating a vehicle is a criminal offense in Maine.

Grudowski was arrested and charged with operating while under the influence of liquor and trespassing on railroad tracks. He was subsequently taken to the York County Jail. Grudowski has a court date of Nov. 12.

His Volkswagen had to be towed from the railroad tracks.

North Berwick K-9 Unit Participates in Parks and Rec "Superhero and Villain Week"

On July 8, 2013 the North Berwick Police K-9 Unit prepared a demonstration for the North Berwick Parks and Recreation Summer Camp - the theme of the week "Superheros and Villains". All Agencies associated with North Berwick Public Safety made appearances to present the camp-goers with general information about each organization and their capabilities.

Members of North Berwick Rescue were present with North Berwick Rescue 1 as well as their Polaris 6x6 ATV used for off-road rescue response; North Berwick Fire was also present with their newest fire truck. The North Berwick K-9 Unit (Hoki and Patrolman Daniel Pelkey), along with Chief Stephen Peasley and Administrative Assistance Wendi Daudelin, arrived and presented camp-goers with the capabilities of the K-9 Unit.

The Team demonstrated Hoki's ability to track missing persons/fleeing suspects by having Chief Peasley and a couple of volunteers lay a short track for Hoki. Hoki then showed off his nose by detecting drugs that were planted in the trunk of Chief Peasley's cruiser. The group was then presented with Hoki's ability to not only protect Patrolman Pelkey, but also help bring an unruly suspect into custody. The day concluded with the children and counselors thanking Hoki.


The North Berwick Police Department continues to be appreciative for the positive response to the canine program from all facets of the Community and looks forward to many more successful years.


North Berwick Police Participate in Inaugural Police vs Pupils Baseball Game

On June 12, 2013 the inaugural Police vs Pupils baseball game pitted Officers from the North Berwick Police Department against the Noble High School Boys Baseball Team.  In keeping with the theme of encouraging physical activity amongst youth, Officers from the North Berwick Police Department came up with the idea as a way to reach out to the community we serve and also help promote high school athletics. The 7-inning exhibition game saw the Noble Baseball Team defeat the Police Department by a score of 10 to 6 in spite of a late 7th inning rally by the Police Department.



Officers are hoping this can be an annual event and are looking into the possibilities of expanding beyond baseball. 

2nd Annual Bike-to-School Event Resounding Success

In 2012 the North Berwick Police Department began an effort to encourage physical activity amongst the youth of the North Berwick community. The State of Maine as a whole has worked diligently and seen a sharp decline in childhood obesity - according to the Child Policy Research Center, in 2003 Maine ranked 27th in the Nation, but as of 2012 Maine reduced childhood obesity and rose to 13th.


In 2012 North Berwick Police Department's Administrative Assistant, Wendi Daudelin, applied for and received grants to help the Department pursue such a venture. The North Berwick Police Department, in cooperation with Maine School Administrative District 60 (MSAD 60), organized the inaugural Bike-to-School Day and it was deemed a success as approximately 75 students from the North Berwick Primary School and Mary Hurd School participated.

Riding the coat-tails of a successful 2012, grant funds were once again attained for the 2013 Bike-to-School Day and the participation doubled as 150 students participated. Led by Chief Stephen Peasley and Administrative Assistant Wendi Daudelin, students and parents rode/walked from Market Street to the North Berwick Primary School and the Mary Hurd School. Officers from the North Berwick Police Department, North Berwick Rescue Squad, and North Berwick Fire Department showed their support by assisting with traffic control and securing the safety of all those participating.

For more information on the Bike-to-School event, contact Chief Stephen Peasley at (207) 676-2751 or by email


North Berwick Officers Selected for York County R.I.D.E Team

In 2012 the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety received federal funding for the creation of a regionalized group of Officers whose sole purpose was to combat drunk and drugged driving; Cumberland County was chosen as the pilot location and the Regional Impaired Driving Enforcement (R.I.D.E) Team was born. Beginning in April 2012 the group of 17 Officers from the Maine State Police, Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, and numerous Municipal Agencies set out to conduct saturation patrols and roadblocks throughout Cumberland County. From April 2012 to October 2012 the Cumberland County R.I.D.E Team conducted 9 enforcement events resulting in 2100 vehicle contacts leading to 40 arrests for operating under the influence with numerous others being charged with other crimes ranging from operating after suspension to various drug offenses.

Seeing the success of the Cumberland County R.I.D.E Team the Bureau of Highway Safety received federal grant money to create another such team located in York County. In February 2013 the Bureau of Highway Safety began accepting letters of interest from Officers who wished to participate and Patrolman Daniel Pelkey, Patrolman Jonathan Koelker, and K-9 Hoki were selected to be part of the York County
R.I.D.E Team. Other Departments committing Officers to this venture include the York County Sheriff's Office, Saco Police Department, York Police Department, and the Kennebunkport Police Department.

Over the past few years the North Berwick Police Department has encouraged Officers to receive advanced training in various areas. Patrolman Pelkey is a certified Drug Recognition Expert (D.R.E) and K-9 Hoki is a certified dual-purpose (patrol/drug) canine and their involvement with the R.I.D.E team can only enhance their skills in locating those operating under the influence and transporting illegal drugs. 

The Bureau of Highway Safety plans to schedule enforcement events throughout York County through September 2013. If Patrolmen Pelkey and Koelker are not scheduled to work in North Berwick they can sign up to participate in R.I.D.E Team events and the costs associated with their participation are entirely covered by the Maine Bureau of Highway Safety.

On Thursday, May 24, 2013 the York County R.I.D.E Team conducted their inaugural enforcement events - Saturation Patrols on Route 109 in Acton and Route 1 in Arundel. Officers from the North Berwick Police Department, York County Sheriff's Office, York Police Department, and Saco Police Department initiated nearly 60 traffic stops in 4 hours, leading to 6 arrests for various violations including operating under the influence, criminal speed, violation of conditions of release, and outstanding warrants.

K-9 Tracks Burglary Suspect Through Cemetery, to Library, Where he is Arrested

Laura Dolce
Monday, March 4, 2013

KENNEBUNK – Police say a Kennebunk High School student left school early Monday and burglarized two homes before being caught at the Kennebunk Free Library.

According to Lt. Tony Bean Burpee, sometime after 1:30 p.m. Monday, a nanny at a home on Fletcher Street returned home to find a male subject running out of the back of the house, dropping items.

The nanny then called police, Bean Burpee said, who were short on personnel Monday, with four members in Alfred at the Mark Strong trial.

The sergeant on at the police station called for mutual aid from law enforcement in the area, Bean Burpee said, and Maine State Police, the Maine Warden Service, Marine Patrol and a car from the York County Sheriff's Office responded.

The department also called in a K9 unit from the North Berwick Police Department, he said.

While the K9 was tracking the subject's footprints in the snow, the department got a second call, at just before 2:30 p.m.

“A landscaper on Oakwood Drive saw somebody running out of the back of a house carrying stuff,” Bean Burpee said. “He could see that there had been forced entry, that a screen had been cut.”

The K9 then tracked the subject through Hope Cemetery and to the library, Bean Burpee said, where he was arrested and found to be carrying a black suitcase with items linking him to the scenes.

The juvenile was charged with two counts of burglary and taken to Southern Maine Medical Center for evaluation, Bean Burpee said.

He's due in court in April.

Police Say Man Charged for 'Elaborate' Pot-Growing System

Christina Higginbotham
Tuesday, February 26, 2013


NORTH BERWICK, Maine — Police found an “elaborate marijuana growing system” in the cellar of a High Street residence on Friday, according to Chief Stephen Peasley.

According to police, Zachary M. Green, 33, of 224 High St., had 16 marijuana plants, averaging between 1 foot and 4 feet tall, inside his residence. Green also allegedly had grow lights,
exhaust fans, harvested marijuana in bags, material to start new marijuana growth, a reflective curtain to obscure “intense” grow lighting, paraphernalia and an unloaded shot gn. All have been seized by North Berwick police.
“You wo
uldn't see the growing lights if you looked inside the house from a window. The reflective curtain was made for that purpose. In addition, he vented the drug odor outside, like you would a dryer,” Peasley said. He said Green did not have neighbors in close proximity.
Green has been charged with unlawful possession of a scheduled drug and scale, use of drug paraphernalia and cultivating marijuana.

He is scheduled to appear at the Springvale District Court on April 9.

Students Mark 100 Days of School with Giving

Christina Higginbotham
Monday, February 25, 2013


NORTH BERWICK, Maine — Children from the North Berwick Elementary Schools recently celebrated the 100th day of classes, on Valentine's Day, with an abundance of charity for their community.

From boxes of cereal to soap and shampoo, the two elementary schools joined together to accumulate 3,400 items to donate to the New Covenant Food Pantry.

Kindergarten through fifth grade students spent the first six weeks of the New Year raising awareness and gathering donations. MSAD 60 Superintendent Steve Connolly gave a speech thanking everyone, especially the children, for their contributions.

“I've got goose bumps standing here. The volume of the collection is wonderful. What can I say? I'm extremely impressed,” said Connolly, referring to the children's unique displays of donated items.

The event's co-directors, Principal Ron Robert and kindergarten teacher Sharon Beckwith, celebrated the 10th anniversary of the event.

“The creativity, the passion, the understanding the children have for what they're doing for the community, it's wonderful to be apart of,” said Robert. The North Berwick Police Department was also present, donating 108 cans of soup and 108 cans of dog food, in honor of their new addition to the force, K-9, Hokey.

“It's certainly a great thing to help give back,” said Sgt. Robert Kearns of the NBPD.

As Principal Robert called them up to the microphone, two children from each class presented their donations to the local pantry. Mary Craig accepted the boxed donations from the students and the police department on behalf of the food pantry, which is housed at the New Covenant Baptist Church on Maple Street.

The donations surpassed those of previous years and Principal Robert said he couldn't be more proud.

Police Say Intoxicated Motorist Collided with Cruiser

Christina Higginbotham
Friday, February 22, 2013

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — A motorist police say was intoxicated was in a collision with a North Berwick police cruiser at 12:55 a.m. Thursday morning by the Hurd Library on High Street.

Police say Matthew Johnson, 29, of North Berwick, driving a 2007 Dodge sedan, was traveling south when he crossed lanes and collided with a cruiser operated by Officer Matthew Begin.

 Police say Begin attempted to avoid Johnson's vehicle and steered toward a nearby ditch.

According to police, Johnson continued driving into the opposite lane and his car struck the cruiser, causing damage on the driver's side from the rear door to the bumper.

Damage estimates are not yet complete but Chief Stephen Peasley is hopeful the cruiser is not a total loss.

Johnson was taken to York County Jail and charged with operating under the influence.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on the charge April 9 in Springvale District Court.

Protecting and Serving — Truly

Monday, November 19, 2012
Foster's Daily Democrat

I spent 30 years of my life in law enforcement, almost eighteen in the position of Chief of Police, managing 2 different police departments in 2 different states. The ultimate goal of any law enforcement agency is very simple. To make the community safe for the citizens it serves. Effective enforcement of the laws is the path to achieving that goal.

In traffic law enforcement, the public often misinterprets the actions of police officers assigned to so called speed traps. To the general public, these traps are seen as revenue generators or as a means for individual officers to achieve some type of quota of citations per day or week. In practice, in some locations, these perceptions are correct. There are those states and/or municipalities that rely heavily upon the revenue generated through speeding citations to supplement the tax base.

In the vast majority of jurisdictions, however, the enforcement of motor vehicle laws is used as the laws were intended, as a deterrent to driving at unsafe speeds. The desired effect of a speed enforcement campaign or program is to make the roads safer for people using those roads by reducing the speed of vehicles using that highway in the future.

I moved to Sanford, Maine 3 years ago and, like a lot of people in Sanford, make regular visits to the mall and other shopping in Newington, NH. The best route for us to get to Newington takes us down Route 4 to Route 236, through the Berwicks.

Having spent most of my working life as a police officer, I am unusually conscious of matters related to law enforcement. I am constantly amazed when I approach North Berwick to find that drivers, almost without exception, entering the 30 miles per hour zone in North Berwick, coming out of a 55 mph zone, slow to and maintain the speed limit right through the center of North Berwick. When the school sign is flashing 15 mph, they actually slow to that speed.

Very rarely have I seen, anywhere in the country, such uniform compliance with a speed limit. I have seen police officers with radar units monitoring this traffic on an irregular basis but have not seen an excessive amount of enforcement. I can only assume that the police administration in North Berwick has, over a period of time, planned and implemented an enforcement policy that has made the public aware of the dangers and consequences of speeding in this area and has accomplished the ultimate goal of any speed enforcement campaign, to make the road a safer place for everyone.

The police department and the officials of the Town of North Berwick should be commended for their efforts and for their effective use of planning. This is truly an example of a police agency protecting and serving their community.

Carl Johnson
Sanford, Maine

About the author: Carl Johnson has contributed articles to the Sanford News, sister publication to Foster’s Daily Democrat. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has served as chief of police in communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

North Berwick Police Officers and K-9 Unit Assist Berwick Police in Search for Bank Robbery Suspect

Jim Haddadin
Friday, September 21, 2012

BERWICK, Maine — Police combed through neighborhoods in Berwick, Maine and Somersworth Friday after a person dressed as a woman made a bomb threat at a nearby bank a
Picturend escaped with cash.

The bank robbery occurred within minutes of police receiving a report of a stabbing at a mobile home park about one-mile away from the bank targeted. Police believe the erroneous stabbing r
eport was a diversion to keep police tied up during the robbery, according to Somersworth Police Captain Jerry Locke.

Locke said police in Kittery, Maine, received a similar report of a stabbing earlier in the day Friday, which was also false. Kittery police became suspicious about the Berwick, Maine incident when they heard information broadcast over the radio and contacted Berwick authorities to relay the warning, Locke said.

"Kittery had something this morning that seemed similar, but I don't know if they had a crime," Locke said.

A Kittery Police Department spokesman could not be reached for comment Friday.

Witnesses to the bank robbery said they believe the suspect was a man wearing a woman's wig, according to information provided by the Berwick Police Department on Friday evening.

Police say the robber entered Kennebunk Savings Bank shortly before 11:54 a.m. and made a verbal demand for cash. No weapon was shown, but the robber indicated he or she was carrying a bomb.
The robber had long, brown hair and was wearing white surgical tape across the knuckles of both hands, according to police. Witnesses said the robber was carrying a black-and-white checkered purse and wearing a red hooded sweat shirt and pink pants with white sneakers.

The robber escaped from the bank on foot and headed toward Back Street, a small road that runs behind a row of businesses, including a Subway sandwich shop.

Subway worker Sam Thibeau said she was informed about the robbery at about noon, when Berwick Police Chief Tim Towne walked in the door. Towne advised staff at the shop to be on the lookout for someone with long, brown hair wearing a red sweat shirt, Thibeau said

Police captured at least one suspect after the robbery, but it remains unknown whether the
person was connected with the heist. Residents in the area of Jordan Street and Sullivan Road said a police officer captured a redheaded man who was seen running through a series of backyards between noon and 12:30 p.m.

"All I saw was a blur going across my back yard ..." said one Jordan Street resident who asked not to be identified. "Then I saw an officer with his hand on his pistol running after what was out there. Then I thought there was something going on."

Donny Packer, another Jordan Street resident, also saw a "blur" traveling across his backyard, but didn't take notice until he heard police sirens nearby.

"I had no idea police
Picture were even out here at that time, so I thought nothing of somebody running through the yard," he said.

A Somersworth police officer at the scene confirmed he apprehended a man following a foot chase, but deferred all other comment to Berwick police.

"We do have somebody in custody," Locke said Friday shortly before 1 p.m., as police continued to search the area with a trained sniffing dog. "We're clarifying whether or not he was involved. He was running from us. That's why he's in custody."

A fire engine and ambulance were among the emergency vehicles dispatched
to Pine Hill Mobile Home Park after police received a report of a stabbing there Friday. Broadcasts over police radio indicated a woman had been stabbed in the back by her boyfriend. A firefighter at the scene said no stabbing victim was found in the area.

Anyone with any information about the case is asked to contact Berwick Police Detective William Russell at 207-698-1136. A confidential reward is available for information leading to the capture and conviction of the robber. 

Teen in Fair Condition After Crash
Oliver Jenkins
, August 30, 2012

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — A woman airlifted to Maine Medical Center Wednesday afternoon following a
two-vehicle accident on Route 4 is listed as in fair condition, according to Maine Medical Center's John Lamb.

The woman, identified as Kassandra Denham, 19, of Acton, Maine, was traveling north on Route 4 when she rear-ended another vehicle in front of her attempting to make a left onto Oaks Woods Road.

Denham's vehicle, a 2000 silver Subaru Forester, sustained heavy damage while the other vehicle, a black Dodge Durango, sustained mostly rear-end damage. The driver of that vehicle, Jenifer Espinosa, 37, of Sanford,
Maine, and another passenger in the vehicle, were unharmed in Wednesday's collision.

According to Lt. James Moulton of the North Berwick Police Department, the accident occurred at 2:47 p.m. and response teams needed to use extrication tools to remove Denham from her vehicle. Denham, who was reported to be conscious and breathing following the crash, was later airlifted from the scene of the accident to Maine Medical Center for unspecified injuries.

The North Berwick Police and Fire Departments both responded to Wednesday's crash. Traffic along Route 4 was backed up as a result, with officers detouring northbound traffic along Oaks Woods Road while turning southbound vehicles completely around.

On Thursday, Chief Stephen Peasley of the North Berwick Police Department said that while the investigation into Wednesday's crash is still ongoing, inattention on Denham's behalf may have been a contributing factor.

Pregnant Woman Taken in Med Flight After North Berwick Crash

Oliver Jenkins
, August 30, 2012

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — A female driver was airlifted to Maine Medical Center Wednesday evening after a two vehicle accident on Route 4.Picture

According to Lt. James Moulton of the North Berwick Police Department, the 2:47 p.m. accident occurred after the driver of a 2000 silver Subaru Forester rear-ended a black Dodge Durango, which was attempting to turn left onto Oaks Woods Road.

Although the two occupants of the Dodge Durango escaped the crash unharmed, response teams had to use extrication tools to remove the driver of the Subaru from her vehicle.

The woman was later airlifted from the scene of the accident to Maine Medical Center for unspecified injuries sustained during the crash. According to Moulton, the woman was conscious and breathing after the accident.

Both vehicles, which were heading north along Route 4, sustained damage — with the Subaru Forester
Picturesustaining heavy damage.

The North Berwick Police and Fire Departments both responded to Wednesday's crash. Traffic along Route 4 backed up as a result, and officers detoured northbound traffic along Oaks Woods Road and turned southbound vehicles completely around.

Moulton estimated the detours would remain in effect until shortly before 5 p.m. as North Berwick officers completed reconstruction of the scene.

No Bail for Duo Charged with Armed Robbery: Accused of Threatening Clerk, Stealing Money from Somersworth Gas Station

Oliver Jenkins
, August 3, 2012

SOMERSWORTH — Two men suspected of robbing a local gas station here before leading police officers in North Berwick, Maine, on a high-speed chase were ordered held without bail during their video arraignment from the Strafford County jail in Dover Thursday.

Patrick Saunders, 18, of 59 Winter St., Somersworth, and Allan Nicholson, 30, of 2611 East Pond Road, Milton, are each facing armed robbery charges out of Somersworth in connection to the early Monday morning holdup of the Route 108 Gulf Station.

According to Somersworth Police Capt. Russ Timmons, at approximately 2 a.m. Monday, police received notification of a robbery at the Gulf Station at 420 Route 108.

Timmons said two individuals entered the store and demanded money. The individuals, who threatened to stab the clerk, left the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash along with a significant amount of cigarettes.

The suspects were seen entering and leaving the area in what was called "a dark-colored '90s-vintage Chevrolet Blazer."

According to North Berwick Chief Stephen Peasley, a vehicle matching that description, a 1999 blue GMC Jimmy, was later spotted on Route 4.

At approximately 2:20 a.m. Officer Daniel Pelkey attempted to pull the vehicle over. The vehicle fled, and a high-speed chase ensued. After crashing their vehicle off Route 4 just a short time later, both Saunders and Nicholson ran into the woods. Pelkey, a K9 officer, was granted permission to bring in North Berwick's police canine, Hoki.

Hoki successfully led officers to both Saunders and Nicholson, who were hiding about a quarter-mile into the woods.

Both Nicholson and Saunders waived extradition during their arraignment Wednesday and were later transported to New Hampshire to face the armed robbery charges out of Somersworth.

The pair will be held without bail at the Strafford County jail until their next scheduled court appearance, a probable cause hearing, on Aug. 16.

Two Charged in Chase are Suspected in Somersworth Gas Station Robbery: Men Arrested After Police Pursuit in Maine Shortly After N.H. Gas Station Robbed

Oliver Jenkins
, July 31, 2012
SOMERSWORTH — Two men arrested early Monday morning are suspected of robbing a local gas station in Somersworth and then leading North Berwick, Maine, police officers on a high-speed chase.

Patrick Saunders, 18, of 59 Winter St., Somersworth, and Allan Nicholson, 30, of 2611 East Pond Road, Milton, were arrested at approximately 2:40 a.m. after crashing their vehicle off Route 4 in Sanford, Maine.

Saunders and Nicholson are each facing aggravated reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, eluding a police officer, and fugitive from justice charges in Maine. The aggravated reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and eluding a police officer charges are both felonies.

Maine officials said when the two men are returned to New Hampshire they will face additional charges there.

According to Somersworth Police Capt. Russ Timmons, at approximately 2 a.m. Monday, police received notification of a robbery at the Gulf Station at 420 Route 108 in Somersworth.

Timmons said two individuals entered the store and demanded money. The individuals, who threatened to stab the clerk, left the scene with an undisclosed amount of cash along with a significant amount of cigarettes.

The suspects were seen entering and leaving the area in what was called "a dark-colored '90s-vintage Chevrolet Blazer."

According to North Berwick Chief Stephen Peasley, a vehicle matching that description, a 1999 blue GMC Jimmy, was later spotted on Route 4 in North Berwick.

At approximately 2:20 a.m. Officer Daniel Pelkey attempted to pull the vehicle over. The vehicle fled, and a high-speed chase ensued.

After crashing their vehicle off Route 4 in Sanford, just a short time later, both Saunders and Nicholson ran into the woods. Pelkey, North Berwick's K-9 Handler, was granted permission to deploy North Berwick's police canine, Hoki.

Hoki successfully led officers to both Saunders and Nicholson, who were hiding about a quarter-mile into the woods. Both eventually surrendered to officers at around 2:40 a.m.

Both Timmons and Peasley said evidence later found in the duo's vehicle is consistent with the items taken during the Somersworth robbery.

Both men are being held at York County Jail.

Officer Pelkey and Hoki had graduated from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy's K-9 Patrol School about one month before Monday's arrests.

North Berwick voted in favor of a canine program in April.

North Berwick Parks & Recreation Plays Host to Hoki

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

On Wednesday, July 18, 2012 the North Berwick Summer Camp welcome d NBPD K-9 Hoki to their "In the Wild" Day, which focused on educating the kids about both wild and domestic ani mals. Chief Stephen Peasley, Patrolman Daniel Pelkey, and Hoki garnered the attention of approximately 50 camp-goers and Counselors for about an hour in which Hoki's abilities to locate evidence, track subj ects, and apprehend suspects was put on display.

Chief Peasley started off introducing himself and giving the kids a brie
f introduction to Police K-9s and the North Berwick Police K-9 Program before handing the floor over to Patrolman Pelkey who gave a brief history of Hoki, a 3.5 year-old German Shepherd from the Czech Republic.

With t
he in troductions complete, Chief Peasley and Patrolman Pelkey worked Hoki through s everal scenarios to demonstr ate wh at highly trained Police K-9s are capable of. First, they simulated a scenario in which a suspect fled from police and threw a weapon; Hoki was let off his leash to search a 30' x30' area and within 30-seconds H oki located the evidence and was rewarded for a job well done. Chief Peasley then took a couple of volunteers and helped simulate a situation in which Hoki would be utilized to track a suspect or help locate someone lost in the woods. 

Finally, the demo ended with Chief  Peasley pretending to be a suspect that Hoki was needed to help gain control of.

At the end of the demonstration Chief Peasley and Patrolman Pelkey fielded questions from the group before ending the morning with the kids all lining up to personally greet and pet Hoki. The North Berwick Police Department was very pleased that such a demonstration was requested by the North Berwick Parks & Recreation Department and hopes to be involved in similar events throughout
Hoki's career.


you would like more information on the North Berwick Police K-9 Program or would like to setup a similar event, please contact Chief Stephen Peasley or Patrolman Daniel Pelkey and every effort will be made to accommodate your request.

North Berwick Welcomes a New Type of Officer to Department

, June 8, 2012

The North Berwick Police Department is pleased to announce of the addition of K-9 Hoki to the department ranks.

Hoki and his handler, Officer Daniel Pelkey, graduated on June 8, 2012 from the Maine State Police K-9 Patrol School at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro. The pair completed the 12-weeks of training with 19 other dogs from all over the State of Maine.

Hoki is a 3.5 year old German Shepherd who was imported from the Czech Republic in 2010 by David Rackliffe of Von Woden Kennels in Weld, ME. Rackliffe, a Deputy for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and K-9 Handler himself, has provided dogs for the Maine State Police, Department of Corrections, and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.  

Hoki will be certified as a Dual-Purpose K-9, meaning he will be trained in the following patrol areas: evidence recovery, subject tracking, suspect apprehension, and building searches. Along with his patrol functions Hoki will also be certified to alert on the odor of illegal drugs including marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and crack.

The North Berwick K-9 Program came into existence only after a great deal of effort and support by both Department and Community members alike. Hoki has a great temperament for police work; he has lots of energy, a ton of drives, and takes a very methodical approach to searches. When Hoki isn’t on-duty he lives at home with Officer Pelkey and his family.

If anyone has questions concerning the K-9 Program, would like more information about police canines, or would like to have Hoki make an appearance or conduct a demo, please contact Chief Stephen Peasley or Officer Daniel Pelkey and effort will be made to accomodate your request.

Lebanon Woman Killed in North Berwick Crash

Saturday, April 7, 2012

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — A Lebanon woman was killed in an early morning accident Friday after she was ejected from her vehicle.

Johanna Timberlake, 25, of Lebanon, was traveling south on Lebanon Road at 1:18 Friday morning when she failed to negotiate a slight curve in the roadway. When her 2003 Mercury Sable hit the shoulder of the roadway, she then tried to steer out of the area back onto the pavement. This motion rolled the vehicle onto the passenger side of the car, the roof then the driver side, ejecting Timberlake from the vehicle.

North Berwick Police, Fire and Rescue responded to the scene after the incident was reported by homeowners who witnessed the crash in front of their home. Timberlake was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to North Berwick Police Chief Stephen Peasley, the cause of the accident is being deemed as driver inattention or distraction. Peasley said he doesn't suspect that alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash, though it is routine to complete a blood test with all fatal car crashes.

No skid marks were present at the scene. An accident reconstruction team from York County also assisted on scene.

Three Held at Gunpoint in Robbery at North Berwick Home

Monday, February 6, 2012

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — Three residents were held at gunpoint early Friday morning as two suspects robbed their home.

According to North Berwick Police Chief Stephen Peasley, two suspects, dressed all in black, kicked open a door at a residence on Beech Ridge Road at 3:25 a.m. on Friday morning. The suspects, wearing ski masks, held the two adults and one 6-year-old child at gunpoint as they stole cash and prescription drugs. One shot was fired into a wall during the incident. No one was injured in the invasion.

Chief Peasley declined to go into detail about the amount of cash and types of prescription drugs stolen. Police believe the home invasion was an isolated incident and have had no similar crimes in town.

According to Peasley, the residents of the invaded home have not been "100 percent cooperative" in telling the police everything about the incident. Therefore, police are looking for as much information from the public as possible.

Anyone with any information on the home invasion is asked to contact the North Berwick Police Department at 207-676-2751.

Man, Stepson Suspected in Southern Maine Burglaries Nabbed in Florida

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

BERWICK, Maine — The son and stepfather team wanted and suspected in a string of burglaries throughout southern Maine has been apprehended in Florida.

Adam Doherty, 20, and his stepfather, Rodney Chamberlain, 42, both of 246 Chelsey Hill Road in Gonic, were apprehended by Pinellas County Police on Saturday. They are currently being held in the Pinellas County Jail pending extradition from Florida to Maine.

According to Berwick Police Detective Bill Russell, the two will be making their way up to Maine within the next week. Although he couldn't officially confirm a crime occurred, Russell said his department had received a tip that a theft was committed at the Largo, Fla., hotel at which Doherty and Chamberlain were staying.

Russell said he is expecting more than a few area police departments to be waiting to speak with the duo when they return.

The two had arrest warrants issued for them in Sanford, North Berwick and Berwick in connection with several burglaries and attempted burglaries over the last several months in those towns.

Russell said other local police departments had expressed interest in speaking with Doherty and Chamberlain once they're returned to the area.

Chief Richard Conway of the Barrington, N.H., Police Department said his department has made no connection between Doherty and Chamberlain to any crimes in town, but said they would be interested in hearing what the two have to say to them or other departments once extradited back to the area.

In an earlier interview, Rochester Police Capt. Scott Dumas said burglaries had been occurring in Rochester almost everyday, but hadn't been able to tie Doherty and Chamberlain to any specific crimes in the city. However, Dumas said his experience has told him that individuals who commit crimes in one town are likely to commit crimes in neighboring towns.

Truck Strikes North Berwick Post Offce Building

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — No one was injured in a two-vehicle collision that involved one of the vehicles, a pickup, striking the town post office.

A pickup truck, for reasons officials have not been able to explain, drove into the front of the North Berwick Post Office on Wells Street, causing a "C" shaped crack in the brick facade.

When the driver attempted to back away from the post office, the pickup truck struck another car maneuvering within the parking lot.

North Berwick Police and Fire responded to the scene. Both vehicles sustained front-end damage and had to be towed from the scene. The crash also caused a minor oil spill in the parking lot. No one was injured during the incident.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. According to fire officials on scene, North Berwick Police are handling the details of the investigation.

North Berwick Lt. Jim Moulton said Wednesday night he had no additional information about the accident.

A Job Well Done by the North Berwick PD

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The business of reporting the news can be tedious and time consuming. Sometimes those of us in the business forget that those we seek news from work under the same or greater pressures.

Such has been the case while Foster's Daily Democrat has sought to report the details of July 11 crash between an Amtrak train and a tractor trailer in North Berwick.

The crash occurred at approximately 11:05 a.m. that day. It claimed the life of Peter Barnum, who was driving an 18-wheeler that failed to stop in time. The accident occurred at the railroad crossing on Elm Street at Buffum Road.

Since then Foster's has pushed for details, including the cause of the accident. Now, almost two and half months later we have a full report and the apparent cause — Barnum's use of a cell phone leading up to the accident.

This 71-page report authored by North Berwick Patrolman Timothy C. Neihoff offers a detailed look at the accident, the moments leading up to it and the investigation that followed. It includes witness statements, photographs, a detailed timeline, and statistical information.

The comprehensive nature of the report is a reminder of how meticulous investigators need to be in dealing with such serious matters. It also serves to illustrate the pressure small police departments can find themselves under at a moment's notice.

The North Berwick website lists a police chief, one supervisor, a training officer and a patrol staff of five to shoulder the bulk of the work load. Other staff include reserve officers, a school resource officer and other auxiliary staff.

(By comparison, Sanford, with a population greater than 20,000, employs 39 full-time officers and patrolmen.)

This means that North Berwick, with a population of approximately 4,300, does not have a lot of staff to pick up the slack when the department is hit by such a complex investigation.

On behalf of our staff and the community, Foster's Daily Democrat would like to thank the North Berwick Police Department for its professionalism, its due diligence and its stretched patience. An added thank you goes to Chief Stephen Peasely who briefly came off medical leave to answer some of our reporter's questions on Monday.

Cause of North Berwick Train-Truck Crash: Police Cite Distraction from Possible Use of Mobile Device

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — North Berwick police are citing "inattention/distraction by the possible use of a mobile communication device" as the cause of a collision between a tractor-trailer truck and an Amtrak Downeaster train that killed a Farmington man in July.

According to a report released by North Berwick Police Lt. Jim Moulton, Peter Barnum, 35, of Farmington, N.H., "failed to stop for the working railroad crossing signals and gates," on July 11, shortly before noon at the intersection of Elm Street and Buffum Road. The report also cites that although Barnum "failed to stop," he did try to stop, as was indicated by the skid marks before the train tracks. Barnum died at the scene as a result of the collision, the report also states.

This conclusion by the North Berwick Police, after investigating the accident for more than two months, is the same conclusion drawn by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation in a civil suit filed against the trucking company that employed Barnum, Triumverate Environmental Inc.

The amended complaint, filed by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation represented by John Bonistalli of Boston, alleges that despite the crossing protection guards being in proper working order, the tractor-trailer truck, which was driven by Barnum, was operated around the crossing guards and into the moving Amtrak train.

Also under "General Allegations," the suit alleges, "Barnum failed to heed the warnings," and "Barnum negligently operated the tractor trailer combination so as to cause it to pass in front of a train."

In relief, the National Railroad Passenger Corporation is asking that Triumverate award monetary support for the damage caused during the accident to Amtrak's engine and passenger cars, legal and investigative fees, as well as funds for loss of business.

The official court document, as filed with the U.S. District Court, cited the total damage amount to exceed $3 million, though "the exact amount is unknown."

Although the exact amount is unknown and the costs are ongoing, the amended complaint cites the damage to the tracks and other property owned by Pan Am Railways, as well as the cost for clean up and repairs exceeds $200,000.

The court date for the suit has yet to be set. Triumverate has until Sept. 26 to file a rebuttal.

On July 11, Barnum's 18-wheel tractor-trailer carrying more than 50,000 pounds of trash collided with a Downeaster train at the intersection of Elm Street (Route 4) and Buffum Road, killing him in the fiery crash and injuring four others aboard the Amtrak train.

Man from Farmington, N.H., Dies After Downeaster Slams Into Tractor-Trailer in North Berwick

By AMANDA BELAND & Staff Photographer EJ HERSOM
Tuesday, July 12, 2011


EJ Hersom/Staff photographer Deputy Fire Chief Larry Straffin answers questions from the media in North Berwick, Maine, Monday after an Amtrak Downeaster train collided with a tractor-trailer, killing the truck driver and injuring several train passengers

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — A 35-year-old truck driver from New Hampshire hauling trash to a facility in Biddeford was killed instantly Monday morning after his vehicle went through a rail crossing at the junction of Route 4 and Buffum Road as an Amtrak Downeaster train was passing, creating a "huge" fireball on impact.

Trash littered the train tracks and surrounding area for hundreds of yards after the collision between the 18-wheeler and the train, said to be traveling at a speed of 70 mph.

Monday night The Associated Press was identifying the man killed as Peter Barnum of Farmington, N.H.

Initial reports on the number of people injured on the train differed between four and six.

At approximately 11:05 a.m the tractor-trailer was heading north on Route 4 when it reportedly crashed through one of the train barriers, according to North Berwick Police, and struck the train also traveling north, about 40 miles south of Portland.

The trailer, while in motion, was struck on the driver's side of the cab, ejecting the driver from the compartment and killing him instantly. It is unclear whether the driver was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

According to North Berwick Police Chief Stephen Peasley, it took crews "quite a while" to locate the driver's body.

Once the trailer was struck, the cab was reportedly dragged along the tracks with the train for approximately 200 yards. North Berwick Deputy Fire Chief Larry Straffin reported the conductor of the train, after noticing the front engine of the train was on fire, unhooked the fiery cab and separated it from the passenger cars to protect the train's passengers from the flames.

Along with the fire present in the front engine of the train, there were also fires reported by police along the tracks within trash piles. The fire within the engine was under control at approximately 11:20 a.m.

Straffin reported six passengers received minor injuries and were treated and released at the scene; Peasley stated that four passengers received minor injuries at the scene; and Amtrak officials, according to a spokeswoman, said four were hurt with three taken to Goodall Hospital in Sanford.

The reported 112 passengers on the train at the time of the crash were transported away from the scene by a variety of vehicles, including pickup trucks and school buses.

Peasley and Straffin could not estimate how many communities responded in mutual aid to the scene, but a partial list of responders include fire and police departments from Rollinsford, N.H., South and North Berwick, as well as Maine State Police, New Hampshire and Maine Railroad Police, Amtrak officials and emergency workers from York, Sanford, Lebanon and Acton.

A local accident reconstruction team was also present at the scene.

The truck driver worked for Triumvirate Environmental Inc., which is based out of Massachusetts, according to Maine Department of Safety spokesman, Stephen McCausland.

Peasley said the tractor-trailer was reportedly traveling to an incinerator in Biddeford.

A witness traveling behind the tractor-trailer who made the initial call to police said he didn't see brake lights from the trailer, but that he did notice the skid marks on the ground after the crash.

He said when he saw the trailer collide with the train, there was a "huge" ball of fire that erupted from the passenger compartment.

According to Peasley, another witness to the crash said the truck started to brake at the top of the hill before the tracks.

Witnesses also reported hearing the train whistle before the train approached the intersection, as well as seeing the train barriers lower and the red lights on the barriers flashing, indicating an approaching train.

Jessica Momenee, 35, of North Berwick, said the engine came to rest at the back of her property at Eastern Avenue.

Momenee said she and her three daughters were picking raspberries in their backyard when they heard what she said sounded like a large gunshot and then someone leaning on the train horn.

She said she and her daughters jumped into the car to drive away from the immediate scene, and then she saw the train engine in a fiery mass.

Momenee said all she could smell from her house was burning trash, and there was black smoke billowing everywhere.

One passenger from Florida, heading to Portland for vacation with his family, told a Foster's reporter he was sitting facing away from the engine and at first did not notice a significant problem.

He said the train car he was in shuddered a bit and didn't at first, seem to slow down.

Although the incident is still under investigation, Peasley said officials do not think the truck was trying to "beat" the train.

Workers cleared equipment and debris from the train tracks Monday night, allowing Amtrak's Downeaster to return to service about 12 hours after the deadly collision.

Amtrak announced Monday night that service was being restored with the final run of the day from Boston to Portland.

Contributing to this report as well as that posted on were Foster's Daily Democrat staffers EJ Hersom, Jennifer Keefe, Scott Kinney and Mike Greear, as well as Sanford News staffers Chris Olio and Teri Strout. The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

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1 Dead in Crash of Train, Truck in Maine

Boston Globe Staff | Boston Globe Correspondent
Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Trash was strewn over the tracks as investigators pored over the scene after a truck was struck by an Amtrak passenger train yesterday in North Berwick, Maine.
Trash was strewn over the tracks as investigators pored over the scene after a truck was struck by an Amtrak passenger train yesterday in North Berwick, Maine. (Photo by Fred Field)

NORTH BERWICK, Maine - An Amtrak Downeaster train crashed into a trash-hauling truck that had gone past a crossing gate yesterday, causing a fiery wreck that killed the truck driver and injured some passengers on the Portland-bound train.

North Berwick Town Manager Dwayne Morin said yesterday that the crash of Train 681 occurred at the railroad crossing at Elm Street, which is also Route 4, in the southern Maine town around 11 a.m.

Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said the tractor-trailer truck’s driver, who was not named, was killed. Three passengers were transported to Goodall Hospital in Sanford, said Stephen Peasley, police chief in North Berwick. Two had smoke inhalation, and one had a head injury. They were treated and released, said Kristen Hill, a hospital spokeswoman.

Train passenger Mark Monti, 51, of Cambridge, Mass., said he was headed for a day on the beach when he heard the train whistle sound and then felt the impact of the crash.

“I felt a big hard jolt, but it was nothing that would throw people all over,’’ Monti said. “After we heard the impact, everyone was a bit shaken.’’

When police arrived at the scene, the truck’s trailer was enveloped in flames and black smoke, lying on its side in a ditch, next to the tracks. The cab was in pieces. Trash was strewn about the tracks.

Peasley said the railroad gate was lowered and the warning lights were flashing before the collision occurred at 11:50 a.m. Authorities found skid marks on the road that might have been from the truck, Peasley said. Witnesses reported hearing the sound of skidding wheels and the train blaring its horn.

Peasley said the investigation so far shows that the truck went thorough the gate and that the passenger side of the truck’s cab was struck by the train. The train continued to travel for about a quarter-mile, stopping just short of the next crossing on Main Street in North Berwick.

The driver of the truck, whose name was not released yesterday, was ejected from the cab and killed, police said. It was not known if he was wearing a seat belt.

Amtrak and State Police said 109 passengers were on board the train.

The crash created a fireball, left trash and debris all over the roadway, and sparked fires on the road and in nearby yards, witnesses said.

The railroad crossing where the collision occurred is in a rural neighborhood, surrounded by fields and rustic barnstyle homes with neat lawns.

Mollie Gandy, 25, lives in a white house next to the train intersection; she has a wooden sign saying “Railroad Crossing’’ above her door. She said she had just finished eating breakfast with her two children when she heard a loud crash.

“It was a huge bang,’’ said Gandy, who has lived in the house for a year and a half. “Our tree was struck by lightning a little while ago, but this was way more intense.’’

Her dogs started howling. When she looked out her window, she saw the truck enveloped in fire, black smoke streaming into the sky. Neighbors began to run over and call 911.

Dawn Belanger, 46, lives a few blocks from the crossing and heard the crash. She and her son ran down the road when they heard the sirens.

“There was trash everywhere,’’ she said. “You couldn’t see much because of the smoke.’’

Peasley, who has worked for New Berwick police for 25 years, said he did not recall having a train crash in town before.

Josh Pickett, 30, of Sanford, was heading to work at his job at an Internet company when he arrived at the rail crossing to find destruction everywhere.

“There were no police officers there yet,’’ Pickett said. “There was just a lot of big popping and plumes of smoke and then more pops. You could see the fires spreading around people’s yards. There were little fires in different areas and smoke for 50 yards. And where the road crossing was, there was debris and garbage and stuff kind of exploded all over.’’

Pickett said he could barely make out the remains of the truck.

“You couldn’t necessarily see it,’’ he said. “The truck was so far gone. It was decimated. It seemed really surreal.’’

Patrick Raftery, 47, an attorney who lives about a quarter-mile from the crash, said the engine, which had separated from the rest of the train, came to a stop at the end of his street.

“I was the first person to the end of Partridge Lane,’’ Raftery said. “There the engine was burning. The rest of the train was about 100 yards south of the engine and charred but not burning. [There] weren’t even any sirens yet, till a minute or two. I ran home and told my wife.’’

Raftery said the smoke and fire rose more than 100 feet in the air.

The Downeaster is Amtrak’s connection between Portland and Boston. Amtrak said the crash disrupted Downeaster service and that alternative transportation was being arranged for the passengers on Train 681.

North Berwick police are investigating the crash, said McCausland. Maine State Police sent troopers who specialize in commercial truck enforcement to assist.

Monti, the passenger, said the train’s crew worked quickly to explain what had happened and keep people calm. He said the accident does not make him scared to take trains in future.

“It was an accident,’’ he said. “It doesn’t happen every day.’’

John R. Ellement of the Globe staff contributed to this report. John M. Guilfoil can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @globe_guilfoil. Martine Powers can be reached at

North Berwick Teen Charged with Growing Marijuana in Closet

By Kyle Stucker
Saturday, April 9, 2011

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — A Nowell Street man was charged Thursday with two misdemeanors after police received an anonymous tip he was growing marijuana in his bedroom closet.

Matthew Wellwood, 18, of Nowell Street, was charged with cultivation of marijuana and sale and use of drug paraphernalia after police found three young, 21⁄2- to 3-feet tall marijuana plants, a lighting rig, at least one pipe and marijuana seeds, according to Lt. Jim Moulton.

Wellwood was issued a court summons for the Class E misdemeanors, but wasn't arrested.

Moulton said the department received a tip about Wellwood's small operation on its anonymous Internet hot line at about 11:28 a.m. Wednesday. He said the department contacted the man's father on Thursday, and the father allowed officers to search the undisclosed Nowell Street house around 11:15 a.m. that day.

Police didn't obtain a search warrant, which wasn't needed because they were authorized to enter and search Wellwood's room through the father's consent, said Moulton.

Moulton said "as soon as (they) opened the bedroom door (they) could smell marijuana," and were quickly able to find the plants in the closet as specified in the anonymous tip. Moulton said the father wasn't aware of the growing operation, and said Wellwood had been using cologne to mask some of the smell.

Moulton said he has no reason to believe the incident is related to any other recent events.

Wellwood is scheduled for arraignment in Springvale District Court on June 28. Moulton said each offense carries "upward of a year in jail" should Wellwood be found guilty.

The North Berwick Police Department declined to release Wellwood's booking photograph.

North Berwick Police to Accept any Old/Unused Prescription Medication on a Year Round Basis

With each New Year, new ideas and thoughts are brought up for discussion. Recently the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration conducted a study and the results showed that the State of Maine has the highest rate of prescription drug abuse in the United States. The following is taken from an Editorial published by the Sun Journal on January 9, 2011:


Maine leads the U.S. in the percentage of residents seeking treatment for addiction to painkillers, according to the latest report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.


And the difference between Maine and the rest of the country is shocking


In 2008, 386 of every 100,000 Maine residents 12 or older were admitted for treatment of painkiller addiction, according to the report.


If correct, that means more that 4,600 Mainers received treatment for prescription painkiller addiction, about a 14-fold increase from 1998. In that year, only 28 Mainers per 100,000 sought such treatment


This recent study has everyone from Maine lawmakers to local Police Departments, brainstorming ways to help combat prescription drug abuse in the State. There are many different ways people obtain prescription drugs to abuse; sometimes a doctor prescribes them to a patient when there really is no more need, they are prescribed and never all finished, and people steal them from others.


On September 25, 2010, the North Berwick Police Department, along with numerous local, state, and federal agencies, participated in Drug Take Back Day 2010; the collaborative effort in Maine collected nearly 8,000 pounds of unused prescription drugs. The collection station at the North Berwick Police Department collected enough drugs to fill a 10-gallon trash bag..


Due to the overwhelming success of this one-day effort; the North Berwick Police Department will now be collecting any unused medication, prescription and/or over the counter drugs on a daily basis. If you or someone you know has unused medication that you no longer want or need, you can bring them to the North Berwick Police Department Monday through Friday between the hours of 7am and 3pm. If for some reason you are unable to make it to the police department, you can call (207) 676-2751 and an Officer may stop by and pick them up for you. These drugs will be collected and turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (D.E.A) and disposed of in a safe manner.


The North Berwick Police Department doesn’t feel as though this gesture alone will stop prescription drug abuse, but we believe it will be a productive step in the right direction.


Dover Robbery Suspect Turns Herself In, Pleads 'Not Guilty'

By Kyle Stucker

Monday, January 3, 2011


NORTH BERWICK, Maine — A Dover, N.H., woman allegedly connected to a recent armed robbery at a home and marijuana-growing operation on Company Woods Road pleaded "not guilty" Thursday to one count of felony robbery.

Holly Kirkendoll, 44, of 557 Central Ave. in Dover, N.H., was arraigned by video on the Class A felony charge in Biddeford District Court at 1 p.m. Thursday and held at the York County Jail on $10,000 cash bail.

Kirkendoll had turned herself in at the North Berwick police station at about 11:20 a.m. Wednesday, according to Lt. Jim Moulton, after allegedly having been on the run since a warrant was issued for her arrest after she was identified as a possible suspect in the Oct. 7 home invasion case.

Moulton said Kirkendoll arrived at the station Wednesday with her lawyer, and she was held at the York County House of Corrections on $10,000 cash bail until her video arraignment.

Kirkendoll is scheduled to go to trial in Alfred Superior Court on March 25, 2011.

Moulton has previously said Kirkendoll, another woman and two men allegedly broke into the Company Woods Road home between 2:30 and 3 a.m. on Oct. 7, threatened the homeowner at gunpoint, bound him with duct tape and stole an undisclosed amount of money and about a pound of marijuana.

One of the other individuals, 36-year-old Sherry Harris, was arrested in November and was
detained at the York County House of Corrections until posting the $500 cash bail required for her release on Dec. 17. Harris is scheduled for a status conference in York County Superior Court on Feb. 11 at 8:30 a.m.

It is still unknown what role Kirkendoll played in the incident, and the whereabouts and identities of the two male suspects are also still unknown. Moulton has said Kirkendoll does have a criminal record.

A 19-year-old man, Christian Kirkendoll, who also has a last known address of 557 Central Ave. in Dover, N.H., was arrested Tuesday afternoon in Farmington, N.H., after he eluded authorities for two months on charges unrelated to the North Berwick case.

While it wasn't clear whether the Kirkendolls are related, Moulton said his department was looking Thursday to see if Christian Kirkendoll has a connection to the North Berwick home invasion.

Moulton said police are still looking for help in identifying the two male suspects in the home invasion case, and asked anyone with more information to contact him or the North Berwick Police Department at 207-676-2751.

North Berwick Police: Women Bound Homeowner, Stole Money and Marijuana

By Kyle Stucker
Monday, November 19, 2010

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — Police are looking for multiple women who are allegedly responsible for breaking into a local man's home and marijuana-growing operation in October, threatening him with firearms and binding him with duct tape before making off with an undisclosed amount of cash and about a pound of marijuana.

Lt. Jim Moulton said four women are believed to be responsible for the incident, which occurred at a Company Woods Road home between 2:30 and 3 a.m. on Oct. 7, although only one arrest had been made as of Thursday.

Moulton said his department isn't releasing any of the suspects' names, ages or hometowns because the investigation is still open, although he said a warrant has been issued for one of the other suspects and his department is actively working to identify the other individuals.

All of the suspects are believed to be out-of-state residents, according to Moulton.

Police were first notified of the theft at 3:42 a.m. on Oct. 7 after the victim was able to free himself from his restraints. Moulton said the man reported someone knocked on his door between 2:30 and 3 a.m., although the man didn't answer the door and four armed suspects allegedly "burst into the house" after seeing him through a window, according to Moulton.

Moulton said Thursday it isn't clear if all of the individuals were armed, although he said at least one allegedly had a handgun while another had a rifle.

Upon entering the house, the suspects then allegedly secured the homeowner at gunpoint, went through the house and "took what they wanted" before securing the man so he couldn't immediately call police, said Moulton.

Moulton said an undisclosed amount of cash and "just under a pound of marijuana" were reported stolen.

During the investigation, Moulton said the victim was able to identify one of the individuals
allegedly responsible because the victim claimed he knew the woman. Moulton said that individual isn't the woman who was taken into custody.

The one suspect police have apprehended was brought in on Oct. 29 by an undisclosed police department in New Hampshire on a fugitive from justice charge stemming from North Berwick's robbery warrant, according to Moulton.

Moulton said the woman was originally transported to the Strafford County House of Corrections, and later to the York County House of Corrections. He said the suspect was still being held on undisclosed bail in York County as of Tuesday.

Police said they have no reason to believe the Oct. 7 incident is connected to any other recent events in the area.

Moulton said the Company Woods Road resident's alleged marijuana-growing operation is still under investigation, although there were no charges filed as of Thursday. Moulton said the alleged operation is a "small grow," although he declined to release further information about the operation.

Moulton asked anyone with information related to the home invasion to contact him at the North Berwick police station at 207-676-2751, extension 248.

North Berwick Teens Charged After Selling Drugs to Undercover Officer

Monday, November 8, 2010


NORTH BERWICK, Maine — Two local 18 year olds were recently charged with felony-level aggravated trafficking of Schedule Z drugs after they attempted to sell marijuana to an undercover police officer.

Andre Ouellette, of 50 Elm St., and Cole Corbin, of Turkey Street, were also charged on Nov. 2 at about 10 p.m. with violation of conditional release.

Police said the arrests came after a two-week investigation that began after the Noble High School Resource Officer obtained information about Ouellette selling marijuana to high school students.

During the investigation, North Berwick Police Chief  Peasley said an officer requested Ouellette and Corbin as a friend on Facebook as part of a sting operation. He said both men accepted the undercover officer as a friend and within a short time made an offer to sell drugs to the officer.

Peasley said the officer accepted the offer and the parties agreed upon a time and location on Nov. 2 for the drug deal, and Ouellette and Corbin later arrived with the marijuana at the location. Police arrested the men at the scene, and a search of Ouellette's residence produced contraband such as a digital scale, hypodermic needle, bongs and other pieces of drug paraphernalia.
Peasley said both men were charged with aggravated trafficking of
Schedule Z drugs because the deal occurred within 1,000 feet of an elementary school. The charge was elevated to a felony because of that proximity, he said.

Ouellette and Corbin were also charged with violation of conditional release because of prior arrests from other police agencies, according to Peasley.

Ouellette and Corbin were transported to the York County House of Corrections in Alfred, and both men were released from York District Court on $5,000 unsecured cash bail.

The men are scheduled for arraignment in Springvale District Court on Dec. 28.

Couple Tried to Steal and Sell Vehicles From Salvage Yard

By Kyle Stucker
Monday, November 8, 2010


NORTH BERWICK, Maine — A Milton, N.H., couple was recently arrested on multiple felony charges after allegedly stealing three vehicles from a salvage yard on Route 9 and selling them to Berwick Iron and Metal Recycling for about $3,800.

Edward Ford, 49, and Georgia Ford, 48, both of 18 Kingsbury Drive in Milton, N.H., were each charged on Oct. 27 with three counts of theft by receiving stolen property, a Class C felony.

North Berwick Police Lt. James Moulton said the department received at a call at about 1:15 p.m. on Oct. 27 about two individuals dragging vehicles off a Route 9 salvage yard owned by Wick's Service using a silver Dodge pickup truck.

Moulton said witnesses reported the activity after seeing sparks flying off the vehicles caused by dragging them on the pavement.

Police were able to catch up with the individuals towing the vehicles off the property at about 1:45 p.m. as they were bringing the third of the three scrap vehicles to Berwick Iron and Metal. Moulton said police were able to track them to Berwick because the act of dragging the vehicles "left sparks and marks everywhere" along the five- to six-mile stretch of Route 9 from the salvage yard to the Berwick metal recycling business.

Police said the Fords were identified at Berwick Iron and Metal as the individuals attempting to sell the three vehicles - a maroon 1991 Ford Aerostar, a 1998 maroon Chevrolet extended cab pickup truck, and a 1973 blue Chevrolet Van. Moulton said Edward and Georgia Ford were both taken into custody shortly before 2 p.m.

Moulton called the theft "pretty gutsy" because of the nature of the crime, the time of day, and the total amount the vehicles were worth. He said there have been other thefts from the salvage yard, including one a couple of weeks ago, although "nothing of this magnitude."

Moulton said the Fords allegedly cut the half-inch cable securing the salvage yard and used a tow dolly to get each vehicle onto the silver Dodge pickup, which was registered to Georgia Ford. He said the couple then dragged each vehicle one at a time down to Berwick Iron and Metal in broad daylight along a "remote" but "heavily-traveled" strip of Route 9.
The tow dolly's vehicle identification number sticker was either removed or "scrapped off," according to Moulton. He said the dolly isn't registered, and additional charges, such as criminal simulation, could be forthcoming because additional investigation may reveal the dolly is stolen.

He said other charges could be also forthcoming if the district attorney deems them necessary.

The Fords' Dodge pickup and the tow dolly were towed to the salvage yard owned by Wick's Service so police could
secure and inventory the vehicles, said Moulton.

Edward and Georgia Ford were each released on $500 cash bail on Oct. 28. Both individuals are scheduled for arraignment on the felonies in York Superior Court on Nov. 24. 

Dover Man Charged With Possession of Crack, Other Drugs

By Kyle Stucker
Tuesday, August 31, 2010


NORTH BERWICK, Maine — A Dover man was charged with two felonies Sunday after officers found crack cocaine, oxycodone, marijuana, a digital scale and baggies in his vehicle during a traffic stop at 11:11 p.m. on Route 4.

John L. Fulton, 47, was charged with unlawful trafficking for a scheduled drug (a Class B felony), unlawful possession of a scheduled drug (a Class C felony), civil possession of marijuana, and civil possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police said Fulton was transported to the York County House of Corrections and held on $10,000 cash bail until his arraignment Monday in York Superior Court. The judge lowered Fulton's bail to $260 cash during his arraignment, and he was then transported back to YCHOC, according to an officer at the jail.

Patrolman Tim Niehoff said he pulled Fulton over around 11:11 p.m. Sunday because he suspected the man was driving drunk after watching Fulton allegedly cross the center yellow line multiple times near the Mary R. Hurd Elementary School.

Niehoff conducted a field sobriety test, although he said there "were no clues" Fulton was intoxicated. He said there was a strong marijuana odor, however, and he and Patrolman Daniel Pelkey, the department's drug recognition expert, discovered the drugs upon searching the vehicle.

Niehoff said he and Pelkey found about 25 1/2 grams of marijuana, the scale and a box of baggies in a bag underneath Fulton's driver seat. The officers also discovered about two grams of crack cocaine concealed in the center console, as well as two oxycodone pills, for which Fulton didn't have a prescription.

Niehoff said the digital scale tested positive for cocaine residue. He said it is unknown as of Monday whether or not Fulton is a known dealer in the area or if the incident is related to any other investigations.

No one else was in the car with Fulton, he said.

Fulton hadn't posted bail as of Monday afternoon. He is scheduled for a probable cause hearing in York Superior Court on Dec. 10.

Berwick Woman Charged With Burglary in North Berwick

Kyle Stucker
Thursday, July 22, 2010

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — A Berwick woman was recently charged with two felonies after she allegedly walked into a Oak Woods Road home and stole a bottle of anxiety medication.

Susanne Buttiglieri, 40, of 9 Hanson Road in Berwick, was charged on July 10 with a count of felony burglary (a Class B felony), one count of
felony theft (a Class C felony), and a count of stealing drugs (a Class D misdemeanor).

Police Chief Stephen Peasley said Buttiglieri entered an unlocked home on Oak Woods Road at about 10:30 a.m. on July 6. An individual visiting the homeowners was sleeping at the time, and was woken by stirring sounds made by the woman.

Peasley said Buttiglieri told the man "I know your wife" before leaving the home. It was later discovered the only thing missing was a bottle of 20 pills of Lorazepam, said Peasley.

Police identified Buttiglieri as a possible suspect in the case after putting out an alert to other law enforcement agencies.

Peasley said the case was sounded similar to three closed Berwick cases. Buttiglieri had already been charged in those cases, and North Berwick police placed a picture of the woman in a photo lineup for the Oak Woods Road witness as well as a witness in a case from mid June involving a home on Maple Street.

Peasley said both witnesses positively identified Buttiglieri as the woman who broke into the houses, and a warrant was obtained for her arrest on July 9. Buttiglieri was transported to York County Jail and was arraigned the charges in Alfred Superior Court on July 12.

It was unclear Wednesday when Buttiglieri was released on her $500 cash bail, as the jail's computer system was down, said an officer at the facility.

Buttiglieri also faces another Class B felony charge of burglary for the Maple Street case because she stole a laptop, said Peasley. There is no scheduled arraignment for that charge, and the charge isn't listed on the court's paperwork, said an employee at Alfred Superior Court on Wednesday.

Peasley said Buttiglieri targeted houses with no cars in front of them. He said she looked for unlocked homes and took small items before fleeing the scene. He said she didn't force her way into any of the North Berwick or Berwick homes.

Peasley said he has no reason to believe there are other burglaries in the area to which Buttiglieri is connected, but hasn't ruled out the possibility.

"I suppose it's possible there are others, but there's none that have been reported to us," he said Tuesday.

Buttiglieri is scheduled for a status conference hearing on Nov. 12 at Alfred Superior Court. An employee at the court said Wednesday she hasn't yet been indicted on the charges, although the employee said that could still happen any time before the hearing.

Somersworth Man Arrested on Charges of North Berwick Burglary, Theft

By Kyle Stucker
Thursday, April 29, 2010

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — Police recently arrested a Somersworth man that broke into a residence above Red Leaves Restaurant and stole $3,000 of personal property.

Michael Colby, 30, of 260 Main St., was arrested after a joint investigation by Somersworth and NoPicturerth Berwick police. North Berwick Police Chief Stephen Peasley said Colby faces a charge of burglary and a charge of felony theft for the break in, which police said occurred on April 16.

Peasley said Colby forced his way into the residence above Red Leaves, which belongs to the restaurant's owners. He said Colby took a 42-inch flat screen television, multiple video game systems and accessories and a cell phone down a flight of exterior stairs connected to the building. The owners didn't notice Colby stealing their belongings because "it was a busy night" for the restaurant, said Peasley.

"He then actually went into the restaurant and asked to call for a ride," said Peasley, adding that Colby most likely stashed the stolen belongings behind the building before entering the restaurant. "That's kind of rubbing salt in the wound, really."

North Berwick and Somersworth police were then able to track Colby to his apartment in Somersworth, where all the stolen property was recovered, said Peasley. Colby was arrested at about 10:50 p.m. on April 16 by Somersworth police. In addition to the burglary and felony theft charges from North Berwick, Colby faces two counts of receiving stolen property, criminal mischief, resisting arrest, and possession of burglary tools stemming from the Somersworth arrest.

Colby was also charged with breach of bail conditions by Somersworth police, as he broke into Red Leaves last month as well. He was arrested and released on bail after he broke into the restaurant on March 21, allegedly stealing $800 from the cash register and $100 from a jar belonging to the 8-year-old son of the owners.

"He kind of singled out this Chinese restaurant for some reason," said Peasley.

Peasley said Colby also broke into Town Pizza on March 21, allegedly stealing $300 from their cash register. Colby was charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of misdemeanor theft for the March 21 incidents, although Peasley said Colby hasn't been convicted on the charges.

Peasley said it's possible Colby might have broken into the restaurants looking for cash to pay for drugs because his girlfriend, Raschelle McAuliffe, 21, of 10 Canal St., was arrested earlier in the day on April 16 for possession of illegal drugs and for violating terms of her release. Peasley said McAuliffe was connected to the March 21 burglaries, but has no connection to the April 16 incident.

Colby was arraigned on the Somersworth charges at Dover District Court on April 19, and was released on $5,000 personal recognizance bail with supervision on April 21. A probable cause hearing is scheduled in Dover District Court on May 4 at 10 a.m. Colby faces arraignment on the Maine burglary and felony theft charges at Alfred Superior Court on May 13.

Peasley said police have no reason to believe Colby has any connection to residential burglaries in North Berwick or the surrounding area. The driver of the vehicle that picked up Colby on April 16 faces no charges, and police haven't released the driver's name.

Armed standoff in North Berwick Ends Peacefully

By Jason Claffey
Tuesday, November 3, 2009 

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — A two-hour standoff between police and a "suicidal" man who allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend then overdosed on painkillers and hid in her apartment while armed with a steak knife ended peacefully Sunday night.

The man, Eugene Jones, 30, of Norwich, Conn., was charged with terrorizing, creating a police standoff, criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, and refusing to submit to arrest.

Police say Jones assaulted his 22-year-old ex-girlfriend on the roadway of Route 1 in Wells early Sunday morning then fled when police arrived. Later that night, he was found hidden in the attic of the woman's apartment on Meader Street in North Berwick, threatening to harm himself and officers with a steak knife, according to North Berwick Police Chief Stephen Peasley.

Officers from five area law enforcement agencies responded to the scene, eventually convincing Jones to surrender peacefully. Peasley credited officers for being patient with the man and developing a "rapport" before convincing him to give himself up. "They defused something that could have been a lot worse had it been handled differently," Peasley said.

He said Jones had taken more than 30 over-the-counter painkillers. After he fled from police in Wells, he was seen running into the woods on Route 9 in North Berwick before officers found him at his ex-girlfriend's apartment. He made his way into the attic through a small hole in the ceiling, Peasley said.

Jones was transported to southern Maine Medical Center for a psychological evaluation Monday. Wells police said he will be charged domestic violence when he is released.

Jones is due in Springvale District Court on Dec. 29 to answer to the felony charges of terrorizing and creating a police standoff, as well as the misdemeanor charges of criminal threatening and refusing to submit to arrest.

North Berwick Police and the Portland Sea Dogs Team Up For D.A.R.E Graduation

In May 2009, the North Berwick Police Department teamed up with the Portland Sea Dogs to present 5th Graders at the Noble Middle School with their Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) Diplomas. The students completed a 10-week, highly acclaimed program gives kids the skills they need to avoid involvement with drugs, gangs, and violence. Ryan Khoury and Aaron Bates from the Portland Sea Dogs (AA Affiliate of the Boston Red Sox) joined Chief Stephen Peasley and fellow officers for the graduation. After the ceremony the graduates were able to talk with Khoury and Bates about their lives and baseball. Both players stuck around and signed autographs for all the kids.    


Sanford Man Nabbed in North Berwick While Transporting 2 Pounds of Marijuana

By Jason Claffey
Wednesday, January 28, 2009 

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — A Sanford man who police say had two pounds of marijuana stuffed in a duffel bag in the back of his sport utility vehicle was charged with felony-level drug trafficking during a routine traffic stop over the weekend.
William Larose, 39, was charged with aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs — a Class B felony — as well as operating under suspension and failing to give a correct name and address, both misdemeanors. Larose had a previous conviction for drug trafficking out of Maine in 1997, according to North Berwick Police Chief Stephen Peasley.

Larose was driving on Valley Road in a Chevrolet Suburban at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday night when he was pulled over by Officer Tim Niehoff for allegedly driving 52 mph in a 40 mph zone, Peasley said.

Larose gave the officer a false name and date of birth, and was later found to be operating with a suspended license for failing to pay fines for traffic violations, Peasley said. Larose had 35 convictions for traffic offenses on his driving record, Peasley added.

During a search of the vehicle, Niehoff found the marijuana sealed in plastic bags inside the duffel bag. Larose did not say if he planned on selling the drugs in the area, Peasley said.

PicturePeasley estimated the amount of marijuana to be two pounds, though the exact weight will be determined by the state's crime lab.

Larose was released on bail and given a court date of March 2 in Alfred Superior Court.