WINSLOW — A Fairfield Police Department dog is being held at a Waterville animal shelter after a bite incident that sent an infant to the hospital.

Winslow police Chief Shawn O’Leary said Tuesday that his department received a phone call about a dog bite on Friday night, and that police investigated the call. He would not release the address of the bite call, because it was the residence of a Fairfield Police Department officer.

O’Leary said Animal Control Officer Christopher Martinez is conducting an investigation as well, but probably no criminal charges will result from that.

“It wasn’t a vicious attack. It was just an incident involving an immature dog that had nipped at the baby,” O’Leary said Tuesday.

Fairfield police Chief Thomas Gould didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday, but Fairfield Town Manager Michelle Flewelling said the town had bought a canine unit from International Canine Exchange in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, for $7,500. Neither O’Leary nor Flewelling would identify the officer involved, but on the Facebook page of the Fairfield Police Department an “Officer Brooks” is listed as the handler for the new canine unit, which originally came from Croatia. According to the town’s website, an Officer Jordan Brooks is on the police staff.

While Flewelling would not comment on the incident directly, she said all police departments that buy a dog through such companies have a warranty with the purchase.


The dog, a nearly 2-year-old name Rex, came to the department in late January and was scheduled to go in March to the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro for several weeks of training with Brooks, according to the Facebook post. The dog appears to be of the Shepherd breed, based on the department’s Facebook post.

O’Leary said the dog was not an active police canine yet, as it had not gone through its proper law enforcement training.

“It wasn’t a working dog,” O’Leary said.

O’Leary said there was no sense of provocation, instead saying it was a case of an “immature dog” that nipped someone. He did not know the gender of the infant, but said it was less than a year old. He said the child was sent to the hospital, but he was not sure for how long.

“There’s going to be no criminal charges at this time,” O’Leary said. “Our investigation is pretty much done.”

The dog was taken to the Humane Society Waterville Area, and the town of Fairfield has a 10-day window to decide what to do with it. A message left Tuesday evening at the animal shelter was not returned immediately.


Flewelling said there have been no discussions of how to proceed, since a course of action depends on what a Winslow animal control officer’s investigation produces. Martinez, the animal control officer, couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

“We are not at liberty to discuss the situation,” Flewelling said.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

Twitter: @colinoellis

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