A Somerset County sheriff’s deputy has been awarded a citation for bravery for his actions in March disarming a woman who allegedly fired a gun at him.

Deputy David A. Cole was presented a letter of commendation for bravery at the sheriff’s office Wednesday.

On the morning of March 11, Cole was dispatched to 58 Grove St. in New Portland for a 911 call from a woman requesting police, according to Dale Lancaster, chief deputy at the sheriff’s department. The woman, Bonnie Jean Tanguay, abruptly ended her call with the 911 center, Lancaster said.

While Cole was responding, Tanguay called back, telling dispatchers she needed the fire department or an ambulance, but would not say why.

Cole arrived, got out of his cruiser and was approaching the home when Tanguay appeared at the front door with a gun in her hand, police said.

“Without warning or provocation, the female caller opened the front door and fired a handgun at Deputy Cole,” Lancaster said in a news release. “Deputy Cole was caught out in the open and his only cover was the side of the building near the front door.”


While Cole called for backup, Tanguay, 34, appeared back into the doorway, according to police. Cole tackled her and took her into custody without any additional shots being fired.

Police said Tanguay was armed with a 9 mm handgun.

Tanguay is charged with reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon, a class C felony.

Somerset County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Tanguay was released on bail awaiting trial. The district attorney’s office asked for $50,000 property bond or $5,000 cash bail, Maloney said, but the judge set bail at $2,000 cash with a pre-trial contract stipulating no use or possession of firearms, alcohol or illegal drugs and to take all prescribed medication.

Her next court date is May 21 in Skowhegan.

“Deputy Cole was able to resolve this volatile situation without loss of life,” Lancaster said. “Deputy Cole’s quick reaction and professionalism is a testament to his training and courage. As an agency, we are extremely pleased that this situation was resolved in a positive manner without injury or fatal outcome.”

“Deputy Cole is an outstanding officer,” Maloney said, “and I am pleased to hear that he is being recognized for his bravery.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367dharlow@centralmaine.comTwitter: @Doug_Harlow

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