LEWISTON — Police are investigating a variety of incidents that occurred at The Colisee in recent weeks, including a cooler fire, a car wreck and reports of reckless driving in the parking lot.

On Tuesday about 7 p.m., fire crews were sent to the rear of The Colisee parking for a report of a small fire. When they arrived, they found that a 4-foot cooler had been set on fire. The flames were quickly doused.

A week ago, late in the evening on July 7, police and fire crews were sent to the parking lot for a report of a car wreck in which the vehicle had caught fire.

No one was seriously hurt in the wreck, although one man’s hoodie caught on fire when the engine went up in flames. Another man was examined for a bump on his head.

Police said they received conflicting reports about the wreck. The driver of the car, 25-year-old Ayan Diriye of Lewiston, said he was driving out of the lot with a group of friends when he swerved to miss an oncoming car heading into the lot.

Diriye’s car slammed into one of the posts that serves as a gate, police said, badly damaging the post. All occupants got out of the car before it burst into flames.


Fire officials said the hood of one man’s sweatshirt caught fire as he was running away. The man removed the sweatshirt and threw it to the ground.

No burns were reported, according to Lewiston Fire Inspector Paul Ouellette.

Firefighters put out the fire and the wrecked car was towed. No one was charged in the crash.

Police are investigating the wreck. Some witnesses reported seeing people driving recklessly through the parking lot, doing “donuts” and driving at high speeds around the time of the crash.

Similar cases of reckless driving were reported at The Colisee on July 5. Police said that although they do receive occasional reports of that nature, the area isn’t considered to be a trouble zone.

“It’s an open lot and the gates aren’t closed,” Lewiston police Lt. David St. Pierre said, “so people use it as an area to hang around sometimes, but I wouldn’t classify it as a problematic area by any stretch.”

St. Pierre said his officers routinely patrol the area around The Colisee and when they see people there after hours, they typically move them along.

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