Three days after a Phippsburg motorist was beaten into unconsciousness and robbed after being flagged down in West Bath, the Sagadahoc Sheriff’s Office said there have been no arrests and no suspects identified.

Police are investigating a few leads following Saturday’s attack, while the perpetrators remain at large.

Chief Deputy Brett Strout said the sheriff’s office received “two or three calls with leads” since the incident, which investigators are following up on, but didn’t have additional information as of Monday.

Around 10 p.m. Saturday, May 26, police responded to a call from Berry’s Mill Road in West Bath.

A 45-year-old Phippsburg man had stopped his truck on Berry’s Mill Road near Campbell’s Pond Road after seeing a woman waving for help near a dark colored SUV, police wrote in a statement Monday.

Once stopped, the man followed the woman to the back of the SUV where three men “jumped him, robbed him of his money, assaulted him, causing him to lose consciousness and resulting in significant facial injuries,” police wrote.

Once the victim was unconscious, the assailants put the man in the bed of his own truck and drove him to a driveway on Gilman Way in Phippsburg where the victim regained consciousness and began calling for help, according to police. He was heard by a nearby neighbor who called the sheriff’s office while the suspects ran into the woods.

Phippsburg rescue took the victim to Maine Medical Center in Portland. Strout declined to provide the victim’s name or an update on his condition Monday.

Sagadahoc County police used dogs to track the suspects through the woods, but were brought back to the driveway on Gilman Way where police believe they were picked up by another person.

Police are also looking into an incident in Brunswick that occurred on Saturday around 11:15 p.m. Police said a woman with a dark colored SUV flagged down a security guard near Cook’s Corner in Brunswick.

“A uniformed security officer, driving a marked Ford Explorer, saw this and stopped to help whereupon the woman, upon seeing the security guard, said she was all set,” the Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office wrote. “If these were the same individuals it is possible that the uniformed security guard scared them away.”

Strout said police are following up with that security officer to see if two events could be related. If so, Strout said he may be able to provide police with a description of the suspects. Police believe the victim won’t be able to give police a description of his assailants because of his injuries.

Sagadahoc County police haven’t received any other reports of similar events elsewhere, Strout said.

Phippsburg Police Chief John Skroski said the community is “more aware of their surroundings and keeping themselves safe” following the West Bath incident, but don’t appear to be panicked. He said while this incident may reduce someone’s likelihood to stop to help a stranger, he doesn’t suspect it will impact a Mainer’s willingness to help someone in need.

“Being the father of three daughters, I’ve always taught them to be aware of their surroundings at all times, especially when they’re close to home,” said Skroski. “When we’re close to home, that’s when we let our guard down because that’s where we’re most comfortable.”

While he reminded the public to be aware of their surroundings, Skroski emphasized how rare assaults like these are in Maine.

“We’re one of the safest states when you look at our crime data,” said Skroski. “There are more deaths and injuries from intoxicated or distracted drivers than assaults.”

According to the most recent data from the Maine Department of Public Safety, the state saw 1,544 violent crimes in 2019, slightly more than the state’s 1,498 violent crimes in 2018. Violent crimes, including murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, accounted for 8.4% of all reported crimes in Maine and represent a crime rate of 1.15 per 1,000 people, according to the 2019 report.

Bath Deputy Police Chief Andrew Booth said he hasn’t received any calls from concerned residents and emphasized the southern Midcoast is a “safe place to live.” If anyone feels unsafe or sees something that concerns them, Booth said police are ready to help.

“When you’re driving down the road and you see someone that’s stopped and needs help, you can stop or call us and we’ll help them,” said Booth. “Do whatever you’re comfortable with. There is enough law enforcement in the area that if you need us, call 911 and we’ll be there in a few minutes.”

The investigation remains open and police continue to ask anyone with information on the suspects or their vehicle to call the sheriff’s office at (207) 443-9711.


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