One of Maine’s most prominent businessmen has been indicted on criminal charges in connection with the firing of a small cannon that injured a referee at a Maine Maritime Academy football game in September.

Peter Vigue, 72, has been charged with Class B aggravated assault, Class C reckless conduct with a firearm, both felonies, and Class E discharging a firearm on school property, a misdemeanor, according to the indictment a Hancock County grand jury handed down Thursday.

Vigue, the former CEO of Cianbro Corp. and chairman of the Pittsfield-based construction company’s board of directors, could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the aggravated assault charge.

Founded in 1949 by the Cianchette Brothers, Cianbro is one of the United States’ largest employee-owned construction companies.

Vigue began working for Cianbro as a laborer in 1970, gradually working his way up through the ranks until he was named CEO of Pittsfield-based company in 2000. He held the position until 2018, when he stepped down and was replaced by his son. Vigue remains chairman of Cianbro’s board of directors, a post he has held since 2008.

Vigue, who lives in Pittsfield, did not return a phone call Thursday evening, and could not be reached for comment. It could not be determined whether he will be represented by an attorney in the pending criminal matter.


A Maine Maritime alumnus, Vigue fired a small cannon during a football game at the academy in Castine on Sept. 21, authorities said. The blast from outside an end zone fence after the home team scored a touchdown discharged material that struck a referee in the face, News Center Maine (WCSH/WLBZ) reported.

In a video that captured the incident, the referee can be seen walking along the back of the end zone when he is engulfed by a small cloud of smoke. The referee collapsed as several onlookers and referees rush to his aide. The referee was transported to a local hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

The severity of his injuries are unknown.

The cannon had been loaded with black powder and a substance that had been made into a wad, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office said at the time.

It was tradition for a cannon to be fired after MMA scored a touchdown. but the firing of cannons and other similar devices was banned by the academy’s president following the accident.

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