CROUSEVILLE, Maine — A woman surrendered to state police at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday after a standoff that lasted several hours and shut down a section of Route 164 in Aroostook County, according to police.

Close to 10 miles of the state highway between Washburn and Presque Isle was blocked early Tuesday morning as officers from several agencies responded to a call about a domestic incident in Crouseville, a village in Washburn.

Joe Whitten, who lives about 100 yards from the scene of the standoff on Flewelling Drive off Route 164, said he was awoken just after midnight by his neighbor pounding on Whitten’s front door and calling out Whitten’s name.

“I went downstairs, opened the door and [the neighbor] just fell onto the floor,” Whitten said Tuesday morning, shortly after the standoff ended. “He said to me, ‘She’s going to kill me.’”

Whitten said he assumed his neighbor, who he said is in his 60s and has lived at 24 Flewelling Drive for about 10 years, was talking about his girlfriend, but added he did not know her name. The Bangor Daily News is not naming the neighbor because he is considered a victim.

“He had a cut and was bleeding over one eye,” said Whitten. “I called the cops and they got here right quick.”

Members of the Washburn Police Department and Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department were first on the scene.

Joe Whitten said he then watched members of the Maine State Police tactical units arriving at about 2 a.m..

“They sure don’t make much noise,” he said of the team’s arrival.

Whitten said he and his wife Germaine also contacted Bull’s son who came to pick up his father and the two men left the Whitten home around 2:30 a.m., Joe Whitten said.

After the police had secured the area, another neighbor, Nelson Bouchard said he could hear someone trying to communicate through a bullhorn with the woman. Bouchard said he could not understand what was being said.

At 6:30 a.m., the couple was just sitting down for their morning cup of coffee when law enforcement officers knocked on the door and told them they had to evacuate.

Police then used the upstairs bedroom and bathroom of the Whittens’ home to place sharpshooters and observe the home next door, according to the Whittens.

“They were using our windows to look out,” Joe Whitten said. When the couple looked upstairs “the bathroom and bedroom were just loaded with guns.”

The Whittens evacuated to the nearby home of Bouchard, 66, who lives part of the year in Connecticut and part of the year in his Crouseville home.

Bouchard, who was in town to keep an eye on the ice and potential flooding situation of the nearby Aroostook River, said he noticed activity at the Whitten home in the early hours of the morning, but did not know the full extent of the situation until Joe and Germain Whitten knocked on his door around 6:30 a.m.

“I went out to the [State Police] command vehicle to ask what was going on around 4:15 this morning,” Bouchard said. “They didn’t tell me much, but did tell me Joe was okay.”

After the Whittens arrived at the Bouchard’s, the three spent the rest of the morning watching the activity through binoculars.

Bouchard said that shortly after 10 a.m., he saw a woman dressed in a blue shirt and black slacks come out of the home. She appeared to speak with police, re-enter the home and come out a few seconds later and surrender, he said.

Right before the surrender, Bouchard said, he observed tactical team members outfitting an armored vehicle with a battering ram.

According to a release from Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland, the woman surrendered “without injury.” He said more information about the standoff would come later from the Washburn Police Department.

At about 10:45 a.m., dozens of state police cars still lined Route 164 near Flewelling Drive. A command van was parked in a residential driveway with a remote-control robot in position next to it.

Heavily armed members of the state tactical unit in full response gear also were walking around the site.

The Whittens said later Tuesday morning that law enforcement personnel were very good to them during the standoff, at one point retrieving eye medication for Germain Whitten after the couple had been evacuated.

“They even offered to wash my rugs where they tracked dirt in,” Germain Whitten said.


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