FARMINGTON — A Salem Township man remained jailed Friday, accused of driving down an embankment toward children who had thrown his protest signs into the Carrabassett River in Kingfield, according to law enforcement officials.

James O’Brien, 68, was arrested Thursday on misdemeanor charges of violation of condition of release, reckless conduct, criminal mischief and driving to endanger by Maine State Police Trooper Jillian Monahan.

According to Monahan’s affidavit, O’Brien was protesting with signs alongside Longfellow’s Restaurant at about 6 p.m. Monday when he left the signs and children tossed them into the river. When he saw the signs, he pulled his vehicle behind Longfellow’s, stopped at the top of a parking lot and continued down a steep embankment toward the children and ran over a bicycle.

“I could see in a video the children running and the dirt flying,” Monahan wrote. “When I was on the scene I saw James taunting the children and the adults that arrived.”

Monahan also reviewed a security surveillance video that showed a person matching O’Brien’s description carrying a can of paint and throwing it at a vehicle belonging to a witness to the incident involving the children.

O’Brien remained in the Franklin County Detention Center on Friday with bail set at $500 cash or personal recognizance and a supervised release agreement.


When he was arrested Thursday, O’Brien was on personal recognizance bail on a charge of criminal trespassing from Oxford County. Two bail conditions in that case are not to commit any more crimes and not to go on the property of Regional School Unit 56, which serves the towns of Dixfield, Canton, Carthage and Peru.

James O’Brien

(Franklin County Detention Center)

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