December 9, 2013

Waterville teen charged in bat attack caused ‘major facial injuries’

Melvin Hubbard appeared in court Monday after police say he smashed two windows, injuring the eyes and face of a man during the attack.

By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling mhhetling@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

WATERVILLE — The man who was injured Saturday, allegedly by a bat-weilding teen, suffered serious injuries to his face, one of several new details police released about a conflict that landed one man in the hospital and another in jail.

Police said Melvin Hubbard IV, 18, used a baseball bat to smash two windows of a car parked outside his Kimball Street home, injuring a man sitting in the car’s front seat.

But Lorna Hubbard, Hubbard’s mother, who lives at the Kimball Street residence with her son, said Hubbard took the bat with him because a female friend of his in the vehicle was being physically assaulted and he acted in self defense.

Lorna Hubbard said it was part of a larger conflict that involved four men — Hubbard and the friend’s boyfriend fighting the injured man and the car’s backseat passenger, who both got out of the car during the course of the fight.

“My son was trying to help that girl, and now he’s facing 15 years,” she said. “It’s ridiculous.”

Waterville Police Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey said Hubbard approached the car about 6 p.m., angry at the backseat passenger because the two were both romantically involved with the same woman. Hubbard and the men argued before the scene took a violent turn, he said.

“He began beating on the car and broke the rear window,” Rumsey said.

Hubbard then smashed the front passenger side window, causing glass to spray inward. The glass struck the eyes and face of a man sitting in the passenger front seat, cutting him and causing what Chase Fabian, the first officer on the scene, described in his report as major facial injuries.

Fabian was headed to the scene when an SUV began following him, the driver honking the horn to get his attention.

At the scene, the driver of the SUV told Fabian that the injured man was in her vehicle. An ambulance took him to the Thayer Center for Health. A previous report that he was taken to another hospital was incorrect.

Police charged Hubbard with aggravated assault, a class B felony with a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Hubbard’s mother said her son was defending himself, and that one of the two men from the car had a knife.

Rumsey confirmed the presence of the knife but said no one reported that the knife had been used to threaten or assault anyone.

Rumsey said not everyone present gave statements to police.

“If there were people on the scene who saw the altercation and are willing to speak to the police department to further our investigation, we would love to hear what they have to say, but that information has not been given at the time and has not been given to us since,” Rumsey said.

Rumsey said the department considers the case to be closed, but new credible information could cause it to be reopened.

Hubbard recently didn’t show up in Kennebec County Superior Court on a theft charge stemming from a Cumberland Farms robbery in July.

In that case, police said surveillance video from Cumberland Farms showed Hubbard taking $1,245 from the store’s safe while another person distracted the clerk. Three other men learned about the money and entered his College Avenue apartment to rob Hubbard. All four fled the apartment through a kitchen window when police arrived.

In connection with that incident, Hubbard was indicted on the theft charge in mid-November. An indictment does not determine guilt, but indicates there is enough evidence to proceed with formal charges and a trial.

Because he failed to appear for a scheduled arraignment on Nov. 26, he was charged with additional counts and was taken into custody following the bat attack on Saturday evening.

Hubbard remained in custody at the Kennebec County jail Monday.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287 mhhetling@centralmaine.com Twitter: @hh_matt
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