Bangor is planning to fence an athletic field where a local man allegedly threatened high school soccer players.
Police have begun stationing an officer at Union Street Athletic Field during events, and the city will fence in the field in a few weeks, officials said. The fence will go up as soon as a contractor can do it, Parks and Recreation Department Director Tracy Willette said.
The precautions come after Steven Butler, 40, was arrested last week for allegedly threatening high school soccer players with a weapon after they came onto his property in search of soccer balls. Butler’s wife, Michele Butler, said the weapon was a handgun.
“We will be fencing the property line there to minimize or eliminate soccer or lacrosse balls from going into yards,” Willette said. “This is an action we can take for the foreseeable future. Hopefully this will be an easy task for us to complete.”
Steven Butler said he overreacted and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. He said that he saw the teens as a threat.
“I was under the impression those children were not there for any official activity. The one on my lawn did not have any uniform on,” Butler said Monday. “I feel very badly for how I reacted. I never intended to scare anyone. I was scared myself.”
Bangor police charged Butler last week with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, a Class C crime. He surrendered his weapon and was released on promises to not use or possess drugs, alcohol or weapons and to stay away from the field, officials said.
An Eastern Maine Community College student studying woodworking, Butler is usually quite reserved due to PTSD, which was triggered by childhood trauma, his wife said.
“I don’t want him portrayed as a crazed lunatic running around pointing guns at kids. That wasn’t what happened,” she said.
Butler is expected to be indicted on Nov. 1. In the meantime, he is in counseling and “trying to figure out how to manage [his condition] better,” Michele Butler said.