Paris man returns to county lockup

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PARIS – Paris police Officer Nathan Bowie was driving down Main Street late Tuesday night to investigate a burglary when a man flagged him down short of the scene.

Several young adults told him Aristotelis “Ari” Tsimis, 21, of Paris had gone to his ex-girlfriend’s house on Main Street, broken down the door and punched a man in the face, according to police. When the ex-girlfriend called police, Tsimis fled, according to Bowie’s report.

A Maine State Police trooper with a tracking dog found Tsimis at his mother’s house at 2 Market Square.

“I know, I (messed) up,” Tsimis said as he was arrested, according to the police report.

He was charged with burglary, aggravated criminal trespass, assault and violating conditions of release. A probation hold was put in place.

On Thursday, he pleaded not guilty to the charges in Oxford County Superior Court. Assistant District Attorney Joseph O’Connor had him held without bail.

Tsimis is one of many subjects going through the judicial system with mental health issues, O’Connor said.

It used to be that these individuals would be able to go to an institution, O’Connor said. Now, however, there are few places that serve as a halfway point between jail and probation.

Officers confirmed that Tsimis had not taken his medication. He tested positive for alcohol use, something not allowed by his bail conditions, reports show.

Many people “diagnosed with mental illness combine it with substance abuse,” O’Connor said.

“It’s not to suggest that he is not criminally responsible,” O’Connor said. “Unfortunately these folks end up in the criminal justice system. Unfortunately at some point – protecting the public is what we should be doing.”

Paris police Lt. Michael Dailey said Tsimis moved to Market Square from Bryant Pond last year.

Since then he has been arrested by the department several times. He was booked Nov. 3 on charges of domestic assault, obstructing the report of a crime and violating conditions of release. On Saturday, he was arrested on a charge of failure to appear in court. At midnight Wednesday, he was brought in on the latest charges.

“He seems to be cooperative every time I’ve dealt with him,” Dailey said.

Tsimis has been on probation since Dec. 8, when a Superior Court Justice gave him a two-year suspended sentence for criminal threatening and assault from a June 18 incident in Greenwood.

According to the police affidavit by Trooper Daniel J. Hanson of the Maine State Police, Tsimis assaulted a male in the house, and chased him around with a chain saw, but he couldn’t get it to work. Both people in the home suffered injuries but did not need medical help.

The trooper caught up with Tsimis in the driveway, records show, where he put up a fight. With the assistance of another officer they tackled him to the ground.

While Hanson was driving, Tsimis threatened suicide and wanted treatment. He was taken to Stephens Memorial Hospital in Norway, where he “was rude and disorderly,” the report stated. Tsimis was later booked at the jail.

Capt. Ernest Martin, jail administrator, confirmed that Tsimis is at the jail often, but when he is there his mental problems aren’t noticeable. He’s just like any other inmate, he said.

Dealing with mentally ill people in jail is a struggle, O’Connor said. While, as a prosecutor, he said he has to protect the public, he said he also wants to do what he can so the defendant can be rehabilitated.

“You don’t want to throw the key away,” O’Connor said.

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