Published Date Written by Staff ReportFollowing a motor vehicle crash and altercation with a police canine, Howard William Liberty Jr., 45, of Buxton, was charged with leaving the scene of a personal injury crash; reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, a vehicle; assault on a law enforcement K-9; and refusing to submit to arrest and detention, the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office reported.
Around 7:30 p.m. Monday, deputies responded to a single vehicle crash on the Graffam Road area of Douglas Hill Road Baldwin. There were three occupants in the vehicle, including Stoy Day, 45, of Sanford, and Daniel Ford, 43, of West Baldwin. Day was admitted for a head injury, and Ford was treated for minor injuries, the sheriff's office reported.
Two rescue units from Sacopee Valley and one Standish rescue unit responded to the scene to transport the injured.
The driver fled the scene upon the arrival of Baldwin Fire and EMS personnel, leaving the two passengers injured in the vehicle, the sheriff's office reported. Two EMS personnel followed the driver through the woods in an attempt to stop him.
Deputies arrived on scene, one with a police K-9, Paco, and joined in searching for the driver. After a short time they confronted the driver in the heavily wooded area. Liberty, who was described as 6 feet tall and 300 lbs., refused verbal commands from the deputies to stop and surrender himself and instead decided to assault and punch the K-9, Paco, with his fist, the sheriff's office reported. As a result of the driver's actions, Paco bit him in the upper thigh area, and Liberty surrendered, the sheriff's office reported.
Liberty was taken to Maine Medical Center for treatment of injuries sustained from the accident and the K-9 bite. K-9 Paco suffered no serious injuries, the sheriff's office reported.
The accident remains under investigation and is being reconstructed by the Cumberland County Reconstruction Unit, but it appears the 2003 Chevy pickup was on Douglas Hill Road and turned left on Graffam Road at a high rate of speed, when Liberty lost control and rolled the vehicle over, continuing down the Graffam Road for another 500 feet. Speed and alcohol are factors in the accident, the sheriff's office reported.