WATERVILLE — A man was detained by police late Sunday morning following an hours-long standoff with authorities that ended dramatically when officers fired several rounds of non-lethal pepper balls to disable him.

Michael Joslyn, 23, initiated the nearly 13-hours-long standoff with police when he refused to leave his College Avenue apartment building after earlier firing several gunshots through the floor in the direction of his landlord, with whom Deputy Chief Bill Bonney said Joslyn was having a dispute. Bonney also said Joslyn was intoxicated at the time he fired the shots, which totaled about a half-dozen when the standoff ceased.

At some time between 11 and 11:20 a.m., Bonney said Joslyn came out of the house without a weapon, but was still not cooperating with officials. He went back into the house and back outside several more times until Waterville officers were able to detain him without injury by deploying their pepper-ball system, firing several rounds until Joslyn was subdued. There appeared to be about 20 to 30 law enforcement officers in total.

Joslyn was charged Sunday afternoon with three counts of aggravated reckless conduct, aggravated criminal mischief, both of which are felony charges; refusing to submit to arrest and creating a police standoff, which are misdemeanors. He was then transferred to Kennebec County jail where his bail was set at $6,000 total. A clerk at the jail said Joslyn is expected to be in court tomorrow for arraignment.

Richard Beaulieu, 22, watched the morning’s dramatic events unfold from the balcony of his third floor apartment on the corner of Sturtevant Street and College Avenue. Beaulieu said he began watching the standoff around 6 a.m. until the police made the arrest. He said for about three hours Joslyn could be seen coming in and out of the building. Beaulieu said Joslyn went back and forth between the yard, the porch and back inside the house. At one point, Joslyn walked all way to the fire hydrant just before the street before retreating back to the porch.

“He was walking down to the street like 20 feet away from them (police.) I couldn’t believe it,” Beaulieu said.


Not long after that, Beaulieu said, the police made their move.

“He was standing there with his hands up and they told him to get down, and all that stuff, and he probably ended up kneeling down for a good 10 minutes. All of a sudden, they started yelling, ‘Get down! Get down!’ again and then (they) (expletive) just lit him up with that (pepper ball) gun,” Beaulieu said. “They probably got him like at least 15 times. They went down checked him out and hauled him (off) right away.”

The incident had prompted police to shut down a portion of upper College Avenue for about 13 hours until the standoff was over. During that time, officers directed traffic to go around the perimeter.

Officers from Fairfield, Kennebec County, Oakland, Winslow and Waterville were all on the scene at some point during the standoff.

Police Chief Joseph Massey said law enforcement responded to a call at 8:55 p.m. Saturday from the person who owns the apartment building located at 124 College Ave., saying the upstairs tenant fired three or four rounds that traveled through the floor and into the first floor apartment.

Police were able to clear out the landlord and make contact with Joslyn, who refused to leave and barricaded himself inside the apartment. At that point, Joslyn was the only person inside the apartment building for the duration.


Massey said that at some point during the night Saturday and early hours of Sunday morning, the suspect fired three or four more rounds, firing six or seven shots in total.

Bonney said negotiators were in contact with Joslyn throughout the night Saturday and Sunday morning but were disconnected with Joslyn several times.

During the late morning, the man could be seen coming in and out of the building. He initially held his hands in the air, as if readying to surrender, before turning back and staying on a porch outside the apartment.

Around 11:30 a.m., officers inched down College Avenue and approached the porch and appeared to fire several rounds of non-lethal pepper balls at Joslyn, disabling him and arresting him.

Over the last several years, Joslyn has had multiple run-ins with law enforcement. Bonney said Joslyn was summonsed in November for threatening. Earlier in the year, in September, he paid a $200 fine for criminal trespassing in Waterville. In 2016, he was arrested in Waterville and charged with disorderly conduct and violation of condition of release. In March 2015, Joslyn was arrested in Winslow on charges of minor consuming liquor and possession of marijuana. He was later fined $350 for the marijuana charge. In January of that year, he was arrested on two warrants for unpaid fines and fees and charged with minor consuming liquor.

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239


Twitter: EmilyHigg

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