Police capture man sought after Buckfield standoff

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A member of the Maine State Police Tactical Team leads Jason Merriam out of the woods after he was captured Friday morning. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
Jason Merriam is led out of the woods and onto Bradeen Road in Sumner by a Maine State Police Tactical Team member shortly after being captured Friday in nearby woods. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)
An Oxford County Sheriff’s Officer pats down Jason Merriam on Bradeen Road in Sumner on Friday morning after he brought out of the woods where Maine State Police Tactical Team members captured him. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

 

SUMNER — After a morning-long search that started with a standoff Thursday night, police Friday arrested a Buckfield man on multiple domestic violence charges.

Jason Merriam, 36, led police on a chase through the woods of Buckfield and Sumner on Friday morning as they were staged near a home at 23 Tucker Road, where Merriam was reportedly holed up with three young children.

A Maine State Police tactical team captured him shortly before noon and brought him out of the woods near 103 Bradeen Road in Sumner.

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Merriam was charged with domestic violence assault, domestic violence terrorizing, obstructing the report of a crime and violating conditions of release, according to the Oxford County Jail.

State and county police responded to an “emergency” at the home at 23 Tucker Road, off Darnit Road at 9:35 p.m. Thursday, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said.

About 7 a.m. Friday, Maine State Police reported that the children were accounted for and safe.

About 8 a.m. Friday, state police reported that the man fled the house and left the children there, according to WGME.

Capt. Christopher Wainwright of the Oxford County Sheriff’s Office said that in the past, police have had to rely on tear gas, stun guns and other methods to stop Merriam.

In 2014, Merriam was arrested on felony charges of violation of bail, violation of a protection order and reckless conduct after causing a three-hour standoff with police.

In 2007, while serving a six-year probation for theft, Merriam was charged with aggravated assault, domestic assault, criminal threatening and two counts of terrorizing. A charge of kidnapping was dismissed.

In 2008, he pleaded no contest and served a three-year sentence.

He was arrested in Paris in September 2012 for violating conditions of that probation by drinking in public. He was living in Livermore Falls at the time, and pleaded guilty to the charges in February 2013.

A month later, after he moved to Sumner, he was charged with domestic violence assault with prior offenses, domestic violence terrorizing with priors, failure to submit to arrest or detention and probation violation.

Jason Merriam (Submitted photo)

Jason Merriam’s convictions

Jason Merriam’s convictions in Oxford and Androscoggin county courts date back to 1999. They are listed here in order of seriousness, according to the State Bureau of Identification. Merriam also was found guilty of several violations of conditions of release and probation violations, which are not listed below.

• 2014, convicted of reckless violation of protective order and reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon. Sentence, five years, all suspended except for 30 days.

• 2008, convicted of aggravated assault, criminal threatening, and terrorizing. Sentence, seven years, all but three years suspended.

• 2003, convicted of theft by unauthorized taking. Sentence, six years, all suspended.

• 2000, convicted of aggravated criminal trespass and theft by unauthorized taking. Sentence, two years, all suspended, plus four months, all suspended.

• 2017, convicted of assault and operating under the influence. Sentence, all but 30 days suspended.

• 1999, convicted of disorderly conduct. Sentenced to 24 days in jail.

• 2011, convicted of operating under the influence. Sentence, 90 days, plus fine and license suspension.

• 2015, convicted of assault. Fined.

• 2016 convicted of threatening display of a weapon and misdemeanor criminal trespass. Fined $400.

• 2016, convicted of harassment by telephone. Fined $200.

 

Members of the Maine State Police tactical team leave the scene on Bradeen Road in Sumner after capturing Jason Merriam Friday morning. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

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  • PhDiva

    This situation very well may NOT have evolved from a standoff to a manhunt if Cpl. George “Chipper” Cayer had been the first to arrive on scene to the rescue…Just ask him.

  • KsandraMcKay

    What strikes me the most in this article is the list of suspended sentences for violent crimes this guy has received. Who ever the judges were that let this guy off time and time again should be at the very least removed from the bench and not allowed to practice law on any level ever again. Seriously a suspended sentence for reckless use of a dangerous weapon while violating a protection order and he gets a suspended sentence? That was just the most recent one in the string.