SKOWHEGAN — A Skowhegan man was arrested and charged with criminal use of explosives Sunday after local and state police spent the morning taking various chemicals out of his Summer Street home as part of their investigation.

Philip Ewing, 46, was arrested at 11:31 a.m., according to a clerk at the Somerset County Jail, where he is now being held. Ewing is scheduled to see a judge at 11 a.m. Monday.

Ewing first called the Skowhegan Police Department at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, indicating that he was trying to disable a black powder cannon, according to Chief David Bucknam.

Ewing told police that “he was trying to disable (the cannon) by drilling holes into it as he didn’t feel safe due to everyone yelling about al-Qaida.”

Bucknam said police then met with Ewing, who appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. The officers went to Ewing’s residence to ascertain whether the information he had given them was correct.

By peering through the windows of the home, Bucknam said, officers saw containers of bleach, gasoline, kerosene, a 5-gallon metal drum and numerous empty bottles of tannerite and gunpowder.

Officers backed away from the residence and notified the Maine State Police bomb squad.

Neighbors near Ewing’s residence were asked to leave their homes as a precaution.

Bucknam said a search warrant was issued and executed early Sunday morning and Ewing’s residence was “extremely cluttered” with various known and unknown chemicals, as well as other items of interest. Police still are investigating the chemicals and items.

The Summer Street residence has been secured safely, Bucknam said. The surrounding area was blocked off by police Sunday.

Around 11 a.m. Sunday, a heavy police presence could be seen outside the Summer Street residence. The state major crimes unit, the state fire marshal’s office, Skowhegan fire and rescue and Skowhegan police were all at the scene.

 

Emily Higginbotham — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @EmilyHigg

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