arrested for obstruction of justice
Edgecomb, STAFF WRITER
Bowdoin sophomore Tom Scifres was arrested in front
of Burnett House on Tuesday, November 21 and charged with obstructing
government administration, police reports indicate.
Brunswick Police Sergeant Tom Ridlon had pulled over
a red Honda owned by an unidentified teenager in front of the social house,
and, according to witnesses, Scifres stood by as the officer searched
Scifres was asked twice by the officer to go inside
the house, and when he refused, Ridlon placed him under arrest, witnesses
Scifres, who is a resident of Burnett House, is being
charged with a Class D offense and faces a court date in January.
According to Maine state law, Title 17-A Statute 751,
the crime of obstructing government administration entails the use of
"force, violence, or intimidation…with the intent to interfere with a
public servant performing or purporting to perform an official function."
When the arrest took place, Scifres was standing on
the lawn in front of Burnett House approximately fifteen feet away from
the vehicle that was being searched, witnesses said.
According to Scifres, Ridlon approached him and asked
him what he was doing. Scifres said that when he explained to the officer
that he was watching the search, the officer told him that he would have
to watch from inside, and that if he did not go inside the house, he would
be placed under arrest.
When Scifres responded to the officer that he was under
the impression that he could watch the search as long as he remained a
safe distance away from the vehicle, the officer told him again that if
he did not go inside, he would be arrested.
Witnesses said that Scifres was placed under arrest
after he refused the officer's second request for him to leave.Scifres
was then handcuffed and frisked by Ridlon and placed in the squad car,
witnesses said. A second squad car then arrived on the scene, and Scifres
was again frisked and relocated to the second car, according to witnesses.
Scifres said that when he asked the second officer if
he would be read his Miranda rights, the officer responded, "Get in the
The arresting officers took Scifres to the Brunswick
police station, where he was booked, processed, and held for approximately
an hour until his bail was posted. Scifres said that at no point in time
did officers inform him of his right to remain silent, or his right to
speak to an attorney.
"I have a great deal of respect for law enforcement
officers. I am outraged by the way in which the officers conducted themselves
on this day," Scifres said. Brunswick police declined to comment on the
Scifres's court date has been set for January 24. He
said he plans to plead not guilty if the court decides to hear his case.