WATERVILLE — Police converged on Veterans Memorial Park Thursday afternoon where a man was stabbed as he was defending himself against an intruder who threatened a group of people with several knives and screwdrivers.

The intoxicated intruder, whom police did not name because no charges had been filed, was taken by ambulance to Thayer Center for Health, claiming he was injured, according to Waterville police Sgt. Kyle McDonald.

McDonald said that man had approached a group of people near a picnic table in the park, which is at the corner of Park and Elm streets, and witnesses said he began waving knives around.

McDonald did not name those involved, but a man in the group who later identified himself as Mike McFarland said he was stabbed under the right armpit area while trying to defend himself against the intruder.

It was a small puncture wound, according to McDonald.

“No charges are going to be filed at this point,” he said.

McFarland, 51, of Waterville, said later at the scene that he had come to the park earlier, sat down on the picnic table and was texting on his phone when the intruder showed up and pulled out a knife.

“I told him to put it away,” McFarland said. “He pulled out other knives, seven or eight of them, and three screwdrivers. I said, ‘Hey man, put those away.’ He stabbed me with a screwdriver in my side and I defended myself. He came here yesterday and tried to stab a guy.”

McFarland refused medical treatment and chose not to press charges.

He said he comes to the park every day and cleans it up. He has found needles, syringes and other items there, he said.

“I don’t drink, I don’t drug,” he said. “Waterville is a beautiful community, OK, and these parks are here for people to enjoy, but there’s just a few bad apples that ruin it for everybody. If you can’t be respectful and enjoy the park, go somewhere else.”

At the scene, minutes after the stabbing occurred, several Waterville police officers and sergeants, as well as two State Police troopers who happened to be in the area, swarmed the park. Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey arrived.

Women and shirtless men with tattoos were walking around a picnic table next to the Civil War memorial, talking about the stabbing and what precipitated it. Some appeared to be intoxicated. The smell of alcohol was strong, with McFarland saying later that it was because the intruder spilled beer all over the picnic table. A radio was pumping out music. A young woman watching the activity from a distance spit on the grass.

Police were interviewing witnesses, and inspecting and gathering evidence at the picnic table. There were what appeared to be several black-handled steak knives, screwdrivers, a blue baseball cap and a black canvas shoulder bag lying on the table. Officers placed them in three large brown paper bags and took them away.

Waterville firefighters and Delta Ambulance workers were tending to the man on the ground who was intoxicated and mumbling. They placed him on a stretcher and loaded him into the ambulance and the vehicle drove off.

A man who would only give his first name — Greg — confirmed that the man who went to the hospital had been threatening people with knives and screw drivers.

“Mike took the knife out of his hand and threw it to get him to think for a minute,” he said. “He came back with a knife and was still threatening, so Mike grabbed him.”

McFarland was the victim of a pellet gun shooting July 18 at Head of Falls off Front Street.

In that incident, he reportedly was riding his bike at the RiverWalk when Frank Pelletier, 58, of Waterville, shot him in the chest with the pellet gun from a car and fled down College Avenue. McFarland, who identified Pelletier as the shooter, was taken to the hospital where he was treated, according to police.

Pelletier was arrested and charged with reckless conduct and assault, police said at the time. He was released on bail and is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 16.


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