Online threat sparks fracas on Frenchboro



FRENCHBORO — Sheriff’s deputies say a threat posted on Facebook led to an alcohol-infused melee that resulted in four arrests early Saturday on this offshore island.

Zachary Ransom, 26, Andrew Smith, 38, and Joshua Smith, 36, all of Frenchboro, were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct. The person accused of posting the threat, 27-year-old Frenchboro resident Monica Polchies, was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and terrorizing, according to Lieutenant Christopher Thornton.

The sheriff’s department received a call around 11:15 p.m. Friday from an island resident reporting an assault on the Sunset Road, Thornton said.

“The caller said the parties had been separated,” Thornton said. “We were hoping cooler heads would prevail.”

That was not the case. A short time later, a neighbor reported that the incident had escalated. That’s when deputies called the Maine Marine Patrol for assistance in getting to the island.

Thornton and deputies Luke Gross and Jacob Day met marine patrol officers Sean Dow and Tom Reardon in Southwest Harbor shortly before midnight, boarded the “Protector” and headed to Frenchboro.

Once on the island, deputies interviewed participants in the alleged assault. One victim described being hit on the side of the face with a beer bottle, Thornton said.

The incident began when Polchies posted a comment to Facebook that allegedly threatened to burn another resident’s home down with the person’s children inside, Thornton said. Three residents went to her home to confront her about the post, and a melee ensued, the deputy said.

“I think this entire incident was fueled by alcohol,” Thornton said.

Once on the island, deputies conducted interviews to determine exactly what had happened. As a result, Ransom, the Smiths and Polchies were taken into custody and to the Hancock County Jail in Ellsworth. All four posted bail Saturday morning. They are scheduled to make their initial appearance in court on July 7.

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