BELFAST, Maine — An intoxicated pedestrian offered a ride home for his own safety ended up spending the night in the county jail after spitting at and grappling with police Tuesday.
John Hines, 42, of Swanville was charged with criminal mischief and failure to submit to arrest after the incident. He was taken to the Waldo County Jail and released on $40 bail Wednesday morning.
Detective Michael McFadden said Officer Wendall Ward was on patrol in his cruiser at 7 p.m. Tuesday when he saw a man staggering along the sidewalk on Veterans Memorial Bridge.
When Ward turned his cruiser around and pulled up next to the railing and attempted to talk to the man, the man did not respond. When Ward then got out of his cruiser and touched the man on the shoulder, he responded by slurring words that Ward was unable to understand.
At that point Patrolman Brian Lunt arrived, and the two officers managed to get the man off the sidewalk and into the back seat of Ward’s cruiser.
Lunt knew the man’s identity and Ward contacted a family member and advised her where Hines was and the condition he was in. Ward then arranged for a deputy to meet him at the end of the bridge and take Hines home.
At that point, Hines suddenly began spitting all over the cruiser’s rear compartment. When Ward asked him to stop, he continued spitting. When Ward pulled Hines from the cruiser to arrest and handcuff him, Hines became uncooperative and began rolling around on the ground. He was arrested and taken to jail.
“All the officer wanted to do was get him home so he wouldn’t get hit by a car or freeze to death,” McFadden said Wednesday. “But he was too drunk to realize the officer was trying to help him.”