NEW CANADA – Law enforcement personnel spent a long, cold and tense night Monday convincing an armed New Canada man who threatened to harm himself or anyone who came near him to surrender.
Several police officers took turns talking to Corey Gagnon through the night as he was hunkered down behind some farm equipment at the Route 161 home of Carroll Caron in New Canada.
Traffic was shut down on Route 161 through the night. The standoff started about 7:30 p.m Monday.
Gagnon, 26, was disarmed by police about 4:30 a.m. when police used a roving robot, usually used to disarm bombs, to distract him. With Gagnon distracted, police drove into the yard and were able to bring Gagnon to the ground.
Despite a struggle, he was subdued and taken into custody. He was taken to the Northern Maine Medical Center for an evaluation.
No one was injured in the nine-hour standoff.
Lt. Darrell Ouellette of the Maine State Police said Tuesday afternoon that Gagnon was transported and involuntarily committed to a Bangor facility.
Ouellette said charges against Gagnon would be decided prior to his release from the Bangor facility.
“Because of the way he was acting, we suspect his medical problem may involve mental issues,” Ouellette said. “A lot of times he was either communicating with us or talking to himself a lot.
“Many of his statements were incoherent,” Ouellette said. “Gagnon has not been in trouble with police before.”
Ouellette said the incident started when Gagnon, who owns a dairy farm on the Strip Road in New Canada, visited the Carroll Caron farm. He had a 12-gauge shotgun with him.
Things appeared normal during the visit at first, Ouellette said. Things reportedly changed quickly.
“He supposedly went ballistic out in the yard,” Ouellette said. “He brandished the gun and threatened to do harm to himself or anyone who came near him.”
Caron called police.
A perimeter was established, the Carons were removed from their home, and Route 161 was blocked off.
Ouellette said the shotgun was loaded when Gagnon was taken into custody.
Sgt. Thomas Pelletier of the Maine State Police and Fort Kent Police Chief Kenneth Michaud, who both knew Gagnon, and Detective Dale Keegan of the Maine State Police all attempted to negotiate with Gagnon through the night.
Ouellette said police were able to see Gagnon through the entire ordeal, using night vision equipment.
A tactical team was called in from Bangor. All together, Ouellette said there were 18 law enforcement personnel at the scene.