WATERVILLE — The Troy man who sparked an eight-hour standoff with authorities three weeks ago has been summoned by the Waterville Police Department on the civil violation of creating a police standoff.

The summons issued to Gary Cross carries a $250 fine and no jail time, Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey said Thursday. But the court also can consider restitution costs, which Massey said come to about $12,000 for all the agencies involved.

Cross, 58, of Troy, was served the summons last week by the Waldo County Sheriff’s Department, Massey said. Cross is due to appear Feb. 2 in Waterville District Court.

Distraught about financial trouble, Cross told police negotiators he had come to Waterville because he wanted to get away from his home so that his family would not have to pass by the area where he intended to commit suicide. He parked his pickup truck in the Police Department parking lot, armed with a .357-caliber revolver, and refused to talk to negotiators for more than five hours before starting a negotiation that lasted more than two hours.

The standoff in the heart of the city closed down two major thoroughfares and forced the evacuation of nearby businesses.

Maine State Police at the time said that there would be no criminal charges against Cross, but Massey said the Waterville department would consider the civil violation.


The intent of the civil charge is that it allows agencies to ask for restitution when a standoff is created, Massey said Thursday. He said the $12,000 figure is the actual cost to agencies in manpower and equipment for taking part in the standoff response. Massey said it is up to the court to consider restitution costs.


Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Thursday that she had not received the police report on the standoff and couldn’t comment on the case or whether her office would pursue restitution.

She said, though, that in general, the process of deciding whether to bring criminal or civil charges can include a mental health evaluation and assessments by mental health professionals.

“Based on the recommendation of the mental health professional, I try to structure a resolution of the criminal case (or civil infraction) to best meet the combined needs of the individual and the safety of the community,” Maloney said in a email.

The day after the Waterville standoff, Massey cited “hundreds of thousands of dollars” that it cost all the departments involved, but he stressed Thursday that was a wider-ranging figure that included the total assets used by the agencies — for instance, the $350,000 firetruck and two firefighters the city had to use to block off a street during the standoff — rather than the actual man-hour costs. He said not being able to use the truck or the have the firefighters available was a cost to the city.


“We wouldn’t get to our cruisers because of where (Cross) was sitting,” Massey said, saying the cost of the cruisers the department couldn’t use also figured into the bigger cost — officers couldn’t respond to some calls and had to respond to others on foot.

The command center at the American Legion hall parking lot the night of the standoff included 30 or 40 vehicles. “The resources were immense,” Massey said at the time.

Massey said the summons came more than two weeks after the standoff because it took that long to get an estimate of costs from all the agencies involved. Besides state police and the Waterville department, agencies involved also included Oakland, Fairfield and Winslow police, as well as the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office and the Waterville and Fairfield fire departments. He said one agency still hasn’t gotten back to the Waterville department with its figures, but it’s one of the smaller agencies, and that number won’t change the overall total much.

Cross was taken into custody after the standoff, which shut down part of Waterville for more than eight hours the night of Dec. 7 and into Dec. 8.


The standoff began at 6:15 p.m., when Cross parked in the Waterville Police Department lot. It was more than five hours, though, before he would respond to calls from negotiators to talk. State police negotiators talked with him by cellphone for nearly two hours before he agreed to surrender to protective custody shortly before 3 a.m.


State police later took Cross to MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, where he underwent a physical and mental health evaluation.

“For law enforcement, this particular situation is about getting the person help, resolving the high stress situation as safely as possible and getting them back to their families,” Maine State Police negotiation team commander Sgt. Jason Madore told the Morning Sentinel the next day.

The last time the Waterville Police Department charged someone with the same violation was in 2009, when Todd McLaughlin drew a massive police response to his North Street apartment in a seven-hour standoff. The charge, however, was dismissed in August that year by the district attorney’s office after McLaughlin argued that he was not a threat and the incident was a misunderstanding.

In the May 2009 standoff, a small army of police from several agencies, including the state police tactical team, converged on McLaughlin’s apartment based on a report that he was heavily intoxicated and had barricaded himself inside, where he had several firearms.

Police said at the time they were alarmed by reports that McLaughlin was angry, had a bulletproof vest and had made a statement that he would “go out in a blaze of glory.”

Nearby homes were evacuated because police believed the situation was deemed high-risk for officers and the public. No one was hurt and McLaughlin was taken into protective custody following the seven-hour standoff.


Waterville police Deputy Chief Charles Rumsey said Thursday that the North Street standoff in 2009 was the last case comparable to the Dec. 7 one involving Cross that Waterville police were involved in.

He said there are similarities in the two cases in that they both involved a large police response from multiple agencies and took a protracted period of time to resolve.

The recent standoff presented a particular challenge because of the many side streets, walking paths and sidewalks that were included in the perimeter, according to Rumsey.

During Cross’s standoff, he got out of his truck, and early in the event wandered away, before going back to his truck. Several streets were blocked off and businesses, including Dunkin’ Donuts and Burger King, were evacuated and the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter was locked down.

Staff Writers Rachel Ohm and Amy Calder contributed to this report.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. 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.