July 18, 2019

UM student charged in Halloween attack

BANGOR – A University of Maine student has been released on $250 bail after being charged with wielding a knife during an off-campus Halloween party that allegedly left small cuts on the cheek of a Husson College student.

Zakaria M. Yousaf, 18, of Portland was released Friday from the Penobscot County Jail after appearing in 3rd District Court earlier in the day. District Court Judge Robert “Buddy” Murray ordered Yousaf to appear on Dec. 14 in Penobscot County Superior Court on felony charges of aggravated assault and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon.

If convicted, Yousaf faces up to 10 years in prison on the assault charge alone.

University police arrested him about 8:30 p.m. Thursday at his dorm room on campus after three male Husson College students, all from the Portland area, reported the alleged incident to Orono police about 4 a.m.

The 19-year-old victim told police that he and two fellow Husson students went to a party on Oct. 31 at 37 Pond St. in Orono, according to court documents, at the invitation of a friend they knew from southern Maine.

The victim told police that Yousaf, who was in the kitchen at the house on crutches and intoxicated, lunged at the victim with a knife. The victim said that he tried to block the knife with his right hand, according to court documents, but suffered two small cuts on his left cheekbone.

Other people at the party came into the kitchen, the victim told police, and pulled Yousaf off him. Yousaf allegedly lunged at the victim again with the knife. One of the victim’s friends described the weapon as a steak knife, according to police.

The victim did not seek medical treatment for the cuts, according to court documents. He told police that he did not know Yousaf but recognized him as a classmate from high school in Portland.

Yousaf denied being involved in the altercation when he was arrested, according to police. He also denied having a knife, but admitted being involved in a verbal altercation at the party.

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