Searsport man accuses police of improper conduct

By Dan West | Jul 08, 2014

Searsport — A Searsport man recently told Searsport Selectmen he was threatened with arrest by a Searsport Police Department officer after he refused to allow the officer into his home without a warrant.

Michael Schneider, who said he has resided in Searsport for the last year, told the selectmen during the public comment period of the July 1 meeting that a police officer came to his home on June 29 asking to search the home for another individual. He told the selectmen that he could not tell which officer it was as he is visually impaired.

Schneider said police told him there was a protective order out against him, which Schneider said was not true. He told the selectmen that he had previously taken out a protection order against another family member who was mentally ill.

He refused to allow the police to search his home without a warrant, Schneider said, and closed the door. He reopened the door after hearing a loud noise like something banging against it. At that point Schneider said the officer threatened to arrest him for harboring a fugitive.

Schneider was not arrested and told the selectmen he "would not stand for" the way he was allegedly treated. He asked that the police stayed away from his property unless they obtained a warrant.

Selectman Aaron Fethke told Schneider that he could fill out a written complaint, which would prompt a formal inquiry. Fethke said he was not aware if a formal complaint was filed as of July 8, and said the July 1 meeting was the first he heard of the incident. He further said that he could not comment on the veracity of the allegations.

Searsport Police Chief Dick LaHaye told The Republican Journal he was directly involved with the incident and did not want to comment.

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