ROCKLAND (AP) – A feud that resulted in a family cat being killed, four men being arrested and a fifth man evading arrest by diving into a harbor to escape began as a dispute among Vinalhaven lobstermen over turf, according to a police affidavit.

Ira Warren, who lives on Vinalhaven, told investigators that someone shot his cat 15 times to try to scare his family “out of the water.”

Since Sept. 27, there have been four arrests in connection with the dispute and an extensive search by land, sea and even beneath the water when a man charged in the brouhaha bolted from authorities near the ferry landing.

Ira Warren, 39, and his father, Charles Warren, 56, were charged on Sept. 27 with aggravated assault, criminal mischief and terrorizing.

They’re accused of attacking the man they believed to be responsible for the cat killing, David Warren, 24, along with another man. It was not immediately known if David Warren is related to his alleged attackers. Several days later, after rumors of retaliation circled the island, a Knox County sheriff’s lieutenant arrested David Warren and Joshua Anthony, 22, for allegedly terrorizing the Warren family.

While Anthony was not the other alleged beating victim, deputies believe he later became involved.

On Oct. 1, Anthony escaped custody. Anthony was seen swimming toward a piling in Carver’s Harbor before he disappeared. The Maine Marine Patrol and U.S. Coast Guard couldn’t find him and divers were brought in to look for his body.

In the end, Anthony turned himself in a day later.

He was held on a probation violation before being released Tuesday on bond.

Feuds over ocean territory have been part of the rough-and-tumble world of lobstering for decades. Maine lobstermen have been known to cut trap lines and, on occasion, even ram other boats or brandish guns.


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