Sheriff gets an unexpected workout


SABATTUS – For years, the catch phrase for police officers late in their careers has been “I’m getting too old for this.”

Newly elected Sheriff Guy Desjardins said it several times Tuesday night after jumping into the fray to help arrest a pair of suspects.

One man was charged with being drunk in violation of conditions of his release and another with domestic assault after a party went amok on Elm Street, police said.

Desjardins did not willingly go searching for the extra work. He was returning from coffee with fellow selectman about 9 p.m. when he spotted a vehicle being sought by Sabattus police.

“We were on our way back on Sabattus Street and sure enough, there it was,” Desjardins said.

At the time, Sabattus police officers were at the scene of an unattended death in another part of town. Still in uniform after the selectman’s meeting, Desjardins stopped to talk to the three women and one man in the yellow sport utility vehicle being sought.

The man in the back seat proved to be Chris Crowley, a 31-year-old local man who had been forbidden by the court to become drunk. Desjardins and another officer got him into a cruiser and then things went crazy.

“He started going wild,” Desjardins said. “He started kicking all the equipment.”

The sheriff and another officer wrestled the suspect into submission and called for another cruiser equipped with a protective cage.

“Really,” Desjardins said after Crowley was taken away. “I’m getting too old for this.”

Police said the occupants of the SUV had been returning from the Elm Street party after things got rowdy there. State Police sent troopers to the party where they arrested 31-year-old Tony Grenier and charged him with domestic violence stemming from an alleged scrap earlier in the night.

By 10:30 p.m., both suspects were being booked at the Androscoggin County Jail. Desjardins, who had started his day more than 14 hours earlier, was still in uniform, having gone straight from work to the selectmen’s meeting.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Rielly Bryant, who also assisted with the arrests, said he was not altogether surprised to see his boss out on the street, chipping in where he was needed.

“It’s good to see him out there,” Bryant said. “I think he kind of likes the night life.”