LEWISTON — A clerk working at a Lisbon Street store that was robbed over the weekend was severely beaten with wine bottles, police said.

Two customers found Lisa Goundie, 57, in The Vault, a high-end wine shop, shortly before 3 p.m. on Saturday. She was coming out of a bathroom “covered in blood and hysterical.”

Goundie was rushed to Central Maine Medical Center for surgery after the couple had treated her open wounds and called 911, according to a sworn statement by Detective David Levesque.

Goundie had apparently been in the middle of a sale when she was assaulted with broken wine bottles. No money was taken from the store’s register, but Goundie’s wallet was found on the ground outside the store; only cash was missing, Levesque wrote.

She told police she was selling her assailant, identified by police as Arthur Bush, 46, of 45 Shawmut St., three bottles of wine when he attacked her, hitting her in the head with one of the bottles.

When she was on the floor, he had stepped or knelt on her neck, saying he was “going to kill her,” Levesque wrote.

The man’s strange behavior before the attack had prompted Goundie to carry a corkscrew as a possible weapon. Bush questioned her about wines for about half an hour while other customers entered and exited the store, according to police.

After the attack, he dragged her into the bathroom as she begged for her life, she told police. She managed to lock the bathroom door and grabbed a bottle of bleach, which she intended to splash in the man’s face if he were to return.

She described him as being in his 40s, having no teeth and wearing a dark-colored T-shirt.

Cuts to her scalp penetrated to the bone, Levesque wrote.

Police checked video from surveillance cameras at area stores and the 8th District Courthouse, which is across the street from The Vault. The man could be seen entering the store at the time of the attack.

The following Monday, after a photo of the suspect was released, a member of his family called police to identify Bush from the surveillance photos. At the same time, police were interviewing Bush at the corner of Pine and Horton streets, Levesque wrote.

Bush told the officer he had to turn himself in, then confessed to the assault. He said he took $4 from Goundie’s purse.

Bush said he owed $200 to a drug dealer for his addiction.

He told police he walked up and down Lisbon Street, considering which store to rob, then worked up his courage to rob the wine store.

Bush said of Goundie: “She was such a nice lady” and he “didn’t want to do it.”

He said he had hoped he would knock out Goundie by hitting her with the bottle. When she screamed, he “panicked,” and hit her repeatedly and dragged her to the bathroom.

Bush told police he tried to open the register but failed.

He fled, bandaging a cut with his shirt. He used the stolen cash to buy a pack of cigarettes.

Police identified dried blood on his shorts and shoes.

Goundie and witnesses later picked Bush out of a photo array, Levesque wrote.

Bush appeared in 8th District Court for an initial appearance Wednesday. He was charged with robbery and aggravated assault, both felonies, but he didn’t enter a plea.

He is being held at Androscoggin County Superior Court, in lieu of bail set by Judge Susan Oram at $150,000 cash or $75,000 cash plus a supervision contract. Bush was assigned a court-appointed attorney. Prosecutors were seeking $250,000 cash bail, calling the crime “incredibly vicious.”

Oram said she was “significantly concerned about public safety at this moment.” 

Attorney Richard Charest, who represented Bush in court Wednesday, said Bush is a lifelong resident of Maine with many connections to the community. He lives on Social Security and has no convictions for violent crimes.

“There appears to be some allegations in an affidavit of substance abuse and mental health problems,” Charest said.

If released from jail, Bush must stay away from Lisbon Street and expect to attend a court appearance. He is barred from having illegal drugs and dangerous weapons and may have no contact with Goundie.

Goundie has been discharged from the hospital. A person who answered the door at Goundie’s home Wednesday said she did not want to speak to the Sun Journal.

Keith Tannenbaum, who owns The Vault, said the shop is open for business as usual and will be participating in Friday’s art walk as planned.

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: