October 18, 2013

Hallowell man arrested after cross-state road rage charge

By Keith Edwards kedwards@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

HALLOWELL — Police arrested a Hallowell man with a loaded rifle in his truck that he had allegedly pointed at a motorist earlier Thursday in Prospect, about 60 miles north east.

Benjamin Hackbarth, 34, was arrested by state troopers after a brief struggle on Middle Street in Hallowell around 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

He was charged with criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon, failing to submit to arrest or detention, and possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle.

Lt. Aaron Hayden said state police responded to a reported road rage incident on North Searsport Road in Prospect, which is in north eastern Waldo County, around 2 p.m. Thursday. A motorist reported a gray Ford F-350 had stopped behind him on the road and someone inside pointed an “assault style” rifle at the car’s occupants, Hayden said.

About an hour later, a trooper pulled over what police now believe was the same truck — though they didn’t know that at the time — in Searsmont, which is west of Belfast. During that traffic stop they determined the driver lived in Hallowell. But, not having information at the time connecting the truck to the reported road rage incident, the driver was allowed to leave.

“It was the same vehicle, but we didn’t know it was the same vehicle at the time,” Hayden said. “We’d stopped the vehicle but it was released. Then more information was obtained.”

Around 3:30, troopers again stopped the truck, on Middle Street in Hallowell.

Hackbarth was arrested and his truck was searched.

Hayden said troopers located a fully loaded rifle, which matched the assault style description given by the other motorist in Prospect, in the truck.

Hayden declined to comment on whether the brief struggle with Hackbarth included the use of a taser or disabling spray.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

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