SKOWHEGAN — Ramon Roderick Rodriguez, the 89-year-old homeless man charged with failure to appear in court on a trespass charge, was released from jail Wednesday, but authorities said he appeared to have no place to go.

A judge in Skowhegan District Court ordered him released on $500 unsecured bail bond, meaning Rodriguez did not have to post the money and was free to leave.

Somerset County Chief Deputy Dale Lancaster, who takes over as sheriff next week, said Rodriguez has some money, but not a lot. Lancaster said his department would help Rodriguez get a taxi to wherever he wanted to go, but that the man’s options were limited because his behavior in the past has alienated him from people who have tried to help him. He’s also refused accommodations at homeless shelters.

“It’s a sad case,” Lancaster said, noting Rodriguez was to be released on Christmas Eve in the cold rain. Rodriguez previously has refused to go to the men’s homeless shelter in Skowhegan because he said he did not want to follow the rules of the shelter, which is run by Trinity Evangelical Free Church.

In court on Wednesday, Rodriguez had to use a hearing device provided by the court to hear the proceedings and could not read the complaint against him because of his failing eyesight. He was offered a 48-hour jail sentence, with full credit for time already served since his most recent arrest. But he declined the offer, opting instead for a trial, which he said was his Constitutional right.

Because he is not charged with a felony and will not face jail time on the misdemeanor charge, he can not be issued a court-appointed lawyer, Judge Andrew Benson told him. Rodriguez will have to defend himself at his next hearing set for Feb. 2 in Somerset County Superior Court in Skowhegan.

Rodriguez is well known to central Maine law enforcement for his messy campsites, his aggressive Rottweiler, Butchie, who since has died, and his crusty appearance and attitude. He first came to police attention in Skowhegan in 2006, when he set up a blanket camp near downtown. He again caught their attention in 2010, when they attempted to find him legal places to camp.

Before the most recent incident, he crossed paths with police in Farmington, Waterville, Madison and in Oxford County, according to published reports. Residents complained about his sudden outbursts and said he often appeared confrontational.

Rodriguez was arrested by Maine State Police Oct. 24 after he refused to remove a camper from the property of the Walmart store in Palmyra. He was released Oct. 29 on personal recognizance and a promise to show up in court Nov. 26 to face a charge of criminal trespass. He did not show up and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

According to the complaint filed in court, Rodriguez remained at Walmart in defiance of an order to leave by the store manager.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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.