FARMINGTON — Police said a West Farmington man was arrested Saturday after a driver complained about him taking his pants off in public as she drove by with her 4-year-old daughter.

Police had dealt with Joel Batzell, 64, twice on Friday before making the arrest Saturday on charges of disorderly conduct and violation of conditions of release, Rachel Heseltine, Farmington police secretary, said.

The caller did not stop at the scene because she said he was taking his pants off and exposing himself. She did not want her daughter to witness that, Heseltine said.

About 3:13 p.m. Saturday, police received the call but by the time officer Derrick Doucette arrived at Batzell’s Bridge Street home, Batzell was sitting in a chair dressed, Heseltine said.

While the officer was talking with a detective from Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, Batzell apparently went into the road and started picking up rocks, Heseltine read from the report. Batzell dropped his cigarette on to the hood of the police cruiser.

Once police got Batzell to the Franklin County Detention Center, he pretended to be dead, Heseltine said.


Police were called to Batzell’s home at about 8:30 a.m. Friday when several drivers called to report he was throwing objects and swinging his cane at vehicles driving by.

Officer Darin Gilbert spoke to him.

Later on Friday, Sgt. Edward Hastings IV was driving through town when he spotted a sedan stopped at a green light at Main Street and Broadway. The vehicle’s four-way flashers were on so Hastings stopped to see if the driver, Batzell, needed assistance.

Batzell said he wanted to bring awareness to his personal cause, Heseltine read from the report. Nothing was wrong with the vehicle or the driver, he told the officer, according to the report.

Batzell was released Sunday on $150 cash bail.  He is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 6.

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