Franklin Countys First News

Industry man charged with assaulting child

Thomas J. Buzzell (Photo by Franklin County Detention Center)

FARMINGTON - An Industry man was charged with felony assault Sunday, after he allegedly slapped a toddler.

Thomas J. Buzzell, 26 of Industry, has been charged with assault, a Class C felony, as well as operating under the influence of alcohol and operating after suspension. The charges stem from a Farmington Police Department investigation that began after dispatchers received a complaint from the mother of a 1-year-old child.

According to an arrest affidavit filed by FPD Officer Brandon Sholan, dispatchers took a call from the woman at approximately 7 p.m. Sunday evening, as she waited at Franklin Memorial Hospital with her son. Sholan and Officer Ryan Rosie went to FMH and interviewed the woman, learning that she believed that Buzzell had struck her child earlier that day.

According to the woman, she had picked up Buzzell from work with her child, leaving them both in the vehicle when she went into a store. When she returned to the vehicle, she told police that she had seen red marks on her child's face. Buzzell reportedly denied he had struck the child. The woman drove to FMH and Buzzell left in her vehicle after she arrived.

Sholan wrote in the affidavit that he observed red marks and bruising on the child's face, running from his nose area up to his forehead.

"It was clear by the size of the markings on [the child's] face that he had been struck with a large object such as an adult hand," Sholan wrote.

The child was transported to Central Maine Medical Center as a precaution, the officer reported, although the doctor did not believe he was in any serious danger.

A friend of the mother had arranged to meet Buzzell at the head of Clearwater Lake, in order to get the car seat back. Farmington police also responded and met Buzzell, who reportedly drove to the location. He denied hitting the child, prior to the officers asking the Industry resident about the incident, saying that police were interviewing him due to allegations that the woman had likely made.

Police say that Buzzell was swaying, slurring his words and had a "strong odor of intoxicants coming from his breath." He reportedly admitted to taking a few shots of Fireball whiskey prior to the Clearwater Lake meeting. Sholan conducted a field sobriety test on Buzzell, allegedly observing multiple signs of impairment.

Buzzell was arrested for assault, operating under the influence and operating after suspension. Bail was later set at $2,000 cash or a Maine Pretrial Services contract.

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