BANGOR, Maine — The Maine Association of Police recently honored three of Bangor’s finest for heroism for their roles in the successful ending of a six-hour standoff that involved an exchange of gunfire on Union Street in 2015.
The incident began when a distraught ex-boyfriend drove up from Portland to find his ex-fiancee in bed with another man. Nicholas Condon, 29, was armed with a loaded shotgun and a blowtorch when be broke down the door of his ex’s Union Street residence on Feb. 8, 2015. He threatened to shoot and burn her and her new boyfriend, and when she called 911, he grabbed the phone and said he would kill his hostages if he saw any officers, according to a transcript of the Maine Association of Police award provided by executive director Paul Gaspar.
Shortly after Officers Brian Smith, Dennis Townsend and Daniel Sanborn arrived on Union Street to secure the area and evacuate neighbors, they heard a shot coming from inside the home.
“Believing that the [ex-fiancee and her boyfriend] were being executed, the three officers approached the building to engage an active shooter,” the award transcript states. “The back door was open and they began to ascend the stair when the suspect fired three shotgun blasts at them, striking officer Smith’s tactical light on his rifle. This caused the officer to lose his footing and fall back slightly. Believing his fellow officer to have been shot, officer Townsend returned fire so the three officers could find cover.”
That was the beginning of the standoff that blocked traffic on busy Union Street for hours.
Condon later told investigators that he wanted to force police to shoot him after he broke into his ex’s home because he was distraught over the relationship ending a month prior, according to an affidavit filed at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
He eventually released his ex, and then her new boyfriend, and surrendered at about 2:15 p.m. after tear gas was lobbed into the Union Street house. In October 2015, he pleaded guilty to two counts each of kidnapping and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and one count each of burglary and reckless conduct with a firearm.
He thanked the Bangor police officers for not shooting him shortly before he was sentenced in October 2015 to 22 years in prison with all but 12 years suspended.
“For placing their own safety in harm’s way in a brave attempt to rescue others,” all three Bangor officers were presented with the Heroism Award during the 18th annual Maine Association of Police Awards Banquet on Jan. 28 at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland.
Townsend and Sanborn no longer work for the Bangor Police Department. Sanborn reopened Old Town Archery & Survival in December 2016.
The association also presented heroism awards to Matthew Roy of Rumford and four officers from the Brunswick Police Department — Daniel Sylvain, Brian Funke, Jerod Verrill and Corey Iles.
The Heroism Award is presented to an individual or individuals who, under adverse conditions, prevent a death or serious injury, Gaspar said.
Officer Brad Gallant of the Rumford Police Department was named the Officer of the Year, and Dispatcher Megan Welch of Sanford Regional Communications Center was named Communications Officer of the Year.