Mass. men charged with burning table


FRYEBURG – Two Massachusetts men were arrested Saturday night after they were seen throwing a picnic table onto a campfire at Fiddlehead Campground.

Christopher John Antkowiak, 23, of Webster, Mass., and Daniel Mark Faulkner, 25, of Charleton, Mass., were charged with criminal mischief. They were taken to Oxford County Jail, where both posted $100 bail and were released about two and a half hours after they were booked. They were also forbidden to return to the campground on the shore of the Saco River.

Police Chief Wayne Brooking said campground staff witnessed the table burning and called authorities at about 10:45 p.m. The department keeps an officer on security detail at the campgrounds on the weekend, and Officer Richard Murray III took the men into custody.

Brooking said the men were intoxicated.

He said the picnic tables cost about $200 each. “They lose probably a dozen in a season, most going into fires,” said Brooking of the campground’s tables.

Last August, eight campers from Massachusetts, mostly in their 20s, were charged with criminal mischief over a weekend after burning picnic tables at Fiddlehead Campground. Last summer also saw arrests of campers from Massachusetts and New Hampshire for disorderly conduct and drug use.

Fiddlehead Campground is situated along three miles of the Saco River. The owner was not available for comment, although the campground’s Web site states that Sunday through Thursday offers a quieter time for family camping, as the weekend campers “tend toward the younger, party-on-the-beach crowd.”

Antkowiak and Faulkner are scheduled to appear in Bridgton District Court on Sept. 11.