BANGOR, Maine — The Maine Warden Service’s chief pilot, who was placed on administrative leave in 2012 after his arrest on a domestic violence assault charge, has been suspended again after he was arrested Friday and accused of assaulting a Bangor police officer.
Game Warden Pilot Charles Later of Shirley was at the Waterfront Park to see country artists Sammy Kershaw and Rowdy Yates perform when he was charged about 8:20 p.m. Friday with felony assault on a police officer, a Class C crime, Bangor police Sgt. Tim Cotton said Tuesday.
“Mr. Later was arrested after being asked by security personnel to leave the venue, [and] he refused,” Cotton said.
“There was some spitting and wrestling involved,” the sergeant said of the alleged assault. “He was subsequently arrested, and his behavior led to the charges.”
Later also was charged by Officer Jeremy Caron with three misdemeanors — refusing to submit to arrest, disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing, Cotton reported.
The warden service placed Later on administrative leave after his arrest, Cpl. John MacDonald, spokesman for the agency, said in an email sent Tuesday afternoon.
Later, who was hired as the warden service’s chief pilot in April 1999, had been arrested in June 2012 on charges of domestic violence assault, obstructing the report of a crime and criminal mischief. Later ended up entering a no contest plea to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and was fined $500 during an appearance in Piscataquis County Superior Court.
District Attorney R. Christopher Almy said in August 2012 that he had to drop the initial charges because the victim refused to cooperate with his office.
Later returned to work in November 2012 after the warden service completed an internal review into alleged misconduct, MacDonald said at the time.
Col. Joel Wilkinson, Maine Warden Service chief, said Tuesday that Later’s latest arrest would be investigated by the state agency.
“Our game wardens, like all law enforcement professionals, are held to a very high standard of conduct,” Wilkinson said. “In addition to the investigation being conducted by Bangor Police Department, the Maine Warden Service has begun its own internal investigation concerning this weekend’s incident involving warden pilot Charles Later to ensure that appropriate action is taken.”
Later was taken to Penobscot County Jail in Bangor on Friday and has since been released, a jail official said Tuesday.