Rash of Domestic Violence Arrests Worries Aroostook County Sheriff
The Aroostook County Sheriffs Office says a recent spate of domestic violence incidents "is very troubling."
Sheriff Darrell O. Crandall says his office was called to four incidents in five days in which suspects were arrested for assaulting domestic partners. Three of those four cases have been elevated to felonies, either because of the serious nature of the assaults or because of prior domestic assault convictions.
On May 27th, deputies arrested Timothy Frost, 32, of Woodland for aggravated domestic assault. That incident sent both Frost and the victim to the hospital.
On the 29th, deputies arrested 30-year-old Joshua Theriault, in Cross Lake, for aggravated domestic assault after the victim was taken to Northern Maine Medical Center.
On the 30th, deputies arrested Eurico Barbosa, 47, in New Limerick, for domestic assault.
On the 31st, deputies arrested Michael Beaulieu, 59, in St. John, charging him with domestic assault and domestic violence criminal threatening.
Crandall says the Sheriffs Office's duty is to respond quickly, make sure everyone is safe, get the parties separated and begin the process of determining if an assault has occurred.
If an assault has occurred and there was physical force used by both parties, a determination is made regarding which party is the predominant aggressor. Crandall says "predominant" is defined as the person most responsible for the abuse who uses the highest level of abuse, has an established history of abuse in the relationship, and represents the more serious present threat of abuse, particularly when both parties have committed some sort of abuse toward each other. He says this process is not always easy, but deputy sheriffs are well trained and experienced.
Overall complaints of domestic violence in Aroostook County are down by more than 20-percent this year over the first five months of last year, but Crandall says this recent uptick is concerning.
"Violence of any kind between domestic partners or family members is never okay. It is not healthy and when we become aware of it, we will intervene. In some cases these investigations and subsequent prosecutions are made more difficult by victims refusing to fully cooperate. However, under Maine law we do not need the continued cooperation of the victim. It is well known and well documented that victims of domestic violence often find themselves feeling trapped in their situations; struggling to find an escape for themselves, their children and even their pets. Offenders will often threaten victims that if they leave they will hide or hurt the children, hurt the pets, etc. leaving many victims feeling helpless. If you are aware of domestic violence, report it."
If you or a loved one are the victim of domestic violence, call your local police or the Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-432-7842. You can also call the Hope & Justice Project at 1-800-439-2323.
Crandall says there is help and there is hope.