Franklin Countys First News

Police standoff triggered by alleged assault of property owner

Vance Billings (Photo courtesy of Franklin County Detention Center)

CHESTERVILLE - According to court documents, the man police say was involved in a 10-hour standoff at a mobile home on the Horseshoe Pond Road this weekend assaulted the property owner and damaged his possessions earlier that day.

Vance Billings, 41 of Rumford, has been charged with four misdemeanors: assault, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and violating the conditions of his release. He appeared before a judge in South Paris via videoconferencing Monday at which point bail was set at $2,000 cash.

According to an arrest affidavit filed with the Franklin County Superior Court by Maine State Police Trooper Eric Ward, police became involved after Billings allegedly assaulted the property owner, who made an initial 9-1-1 call on Dec. 1 after he had an argument with Billings. The owner reported that he had been threatened by Billings and "tossed around his house" after an argument over money. The man said that Billings had specifically threatened to shoot him with a high-powered BB/pellet rifle. While the man had a small cut on one arm, he reportedly refused to press charges against Billings and instead agreed to leave Billings alone for the night in the hope of defusing the situation.

According to the affidavit, Billings still refused to leave the next day after the owner returned. The property owner reported that Billings had also damaged his property, including a radio and some electric guitars, and that the two had another argument. The owner said that Billings had assaulted him, possibly breaking some ribs on his left side and scraping his nose. The owner then walked to another residence on Horseshoe Pond Road where he called for help.

Farmington Police Department Sgt. Edward Hastings IV responded and spoke with the property owner prior to NorthStar EMS transporting him to Franklin Memorial Hospital. At this point, the owner reported the alleged assault and said he wanted to press charges.

Franklin County Sheriff's Office deputies Brad Scovil and Keith Madore responded to the residence, a mobile home, and reported seeing Billings walking around. Scovil attempted to contact Billings, at which point Billings began barricading the windows and doors.

The Maine State Police tactical team responded. Billings eventually surrendered Saturday evening, after an approximately 10-hour standoff with police. Department of Public Safety spokesperson Stephen McCausland later indicated that in addition to the pellet gun, there was a crossbow inside the residence.

Billings arrested and transported to Franklin County Detention Center.

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