Facebook threats behind Lewiston Mall beating

LEWISTON — Maureen Catalano had planned to spend Friday afternoon meeting with police to talk about violent threats made on Facebook against her son, Dax.

Instead, she spent it sitting at Dax's hospital bed at Maine Medical Center, hoping he would recover quickly from a near-fatal beating he received Tuesday afternoon in the Lewiston Mall parking lot.

The beating, she said, was a direct result of Facebook threats.

Jacob Estes, 18, of Auburn has been charged with aggravated assault in connection with the beating. He made his initial appearance in 8th District Court in Lewiston on Friday.

"This wasn't an everyday thing, that they were talking to each other," Catalano said. "It was a conversation that took place over a period of time. They didn't even know each other."

Catalano and Estes met for the first time Tuesday afternoon in the Lewiston Mall parking lot, she said.

After school on that day, Dax Catalano, 16, had taken his 17-year-old girlfriend to the China Super Buffet. They were confronted there by the girl's 17-year-old former boyfriend, another minor and Estes.

According to police, Estes punched Catalano and the two began fighting. Catalano was knocked to the ground and had stopped defending himself while Estes climbed on him and continued the beating, according to the arrest affidavit.

He didn't stop until a passer-by yelled at him. Then he stood, kicked Catalano in the head and fled, police say.

Estes has been charged with Class B aggravated assault. In court Friday afternoon, Judge John Beliveau set bail at $5,000. A plea hearing is scheduled for June 30.

"These are very serious crimes, serious injuries," Beliveau said. "And the motive, it appears, is kind of ridiculous, under the circumstances."

Estes, who graduated from Edward Little High School last year, had enlisted in the U.S. Army and was scheduled to begin boot camp training on March 21. That's up in the air now, Beliveau said.

Catalano was taken to Central Maine Medical Center on Tuesday afternoon, according to police reports. His mother said he was being treated for a broken skull until swelling and a massive blood clot were discovered in his head. He was taken by ambulance to Maine Medical Center in Portland on Tuesday night.

"He almost died there," Maureen Catalano said. He was released from surgery at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning and has since been recovering. So far, doctors have not found any permanent brain damage.

"I don't think kids understand," his mother said. "It's not just the threatening itself. Lets face it. This kid, Jake, ready to go into the military, he's ruined his own life. So not only are you ruining the people you've attacked, you are ruining your own future. All over what, a girl? Is it really worth it?"

Catalano said she learned about the Facebook threats in January, soon after they began. Her son had started dating a new girl and her ex-boyfriend wasn't happy about it.

"You know teenagers," she said. "They think they can handle it on their own."

The Facebook messages began on Jan. 7 and continued through Feb. 21, she said.

"Dax had never met this kid in his life, and this was Jake: 'I'm gonna kick your teeth out, bitch, then I'm gonna cut your f-ing hands off,'" she quoted. "That was the first message he wrote to my son. And Dax responded, 'Bitch, I don't even know you.'"

She was alarmed enough to contact Lewiston police and school officials. They took a report and had planned to meet later to discuss the threats.

"And then, Tuesday happened," she said.

She hopes parents will use her family's experience as an example.

"They don't want you to, but you have to watch their Facebook," she said. "You have to watch what they're saying, and you have to know."

staylor@sunjournal.com

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Comments

 's picture

Bootcamp

Might just be exactly what this kid needs! Then to the front line he goes!

DONALD FERLAND's picture

We have and are raising a

We have and are raising a generation of children who for some reason feel they are entitled to do what they want, when they want and how they want and don't think they have to face the consequences of their actions. So many children today threaten to call the police or report parents to DHS for child abuse. I feel it is time that we take a look at our parenting and start taking responsibility for the way we have raised our children. For years we were told not to spank our children because it was abuse and to use time outs as consequences. Well it's sad but I believe it's time we go back to the old school. Spanking a child's butt is not abuse. Taking away tv, movies, games, and other activities are not abuse but a natural consequence for a child's action. It's time this generation of children learn that there are rules for everything and consequences for their actions. In this day of computers, cell phones, and other devices, we need to be aware of what are children are doing at all time. Do you realize that as parents we are financially responsible for our children and their actions until they are 24? As far as threats made on the computer, its a daily occurrence and in most cases the police do not do anything about threats made on social networking sites. This I know from experience as my son received a death threat in September and nothing has come of it except that I moved my family to keep my 10 year old safe. To Dax's mother....stay strong and support your son as he will have a long road to recovery but also make sure you stand up for his rights and dont let the threats that turned into a reality go unnoticed. To Dax.....as hard as it may be you have to work diligently so that you can recover from this horrendous attack. Things may look bleak at times and you may struggle to overcome the emotions and pain but it is possible. My thoughts and prayers are with this family. As far as the attacker goes....he isn't worth my time.

Sadie Roberts's picture

REALLY THIS WHOLE THING IS

REALLY THIS WHOLE THING IS SOOO SAD....WHY IS THERE SO MUCH HATE GOING ON WITH KIDS....I SURE HOPE THIS YOUNG MAN GETS BACK TO HIS OLD SELF SOON.....TO HIS MOTHER I'M SO VERY SORRY WHAT HAPPEN TO YOUR SON......AND YES I HOPE BUBBA GETS TO THIS BOY AND GIVES HIM WHAT HE DID.....

 's picture

This is disgusting...

I am appalled that this kind of fighting happened and it shows that these kids don't see any consequences for their violence. They see things in their video games and on tv and think it is perfectly okay for them to behave the same way. They forget that a video game is make believe and the acters go home unhurt at the end of the day. Where is REALITY in all this - where is parent awareness? I guess parents should be checking their childrens' facebook and other social media accounts more closely than we obviously are...I didn't think I needed to with my older daughter who is now 19, but I think I will make sure that I have access to my younger childrens' accounts to monitor their behavior and that of others with whom they are interacting. I am hoping for a full recovery for this boy and for full consequences to be dished out to the other boys involved in this beating!

 's picture

Beatings

I hope this young man recovers fully and the other one gets the crap kicked out of him in jail...There is no need of this kind of behavior...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Guess who won't be going to

Guess who won't be going to boot camp on March 21st. "Bubba" will give him the "boot" all right.

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