Police seek stun guns after standoff

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Westbrook police want to order stun guns after the guns were instrumental in bringing a standoff with an armed suspect to an end Sunday morning.

Police arrested Michael Dumond, 39, no address available, early Sunday morning after a 40-minute standoff, during which he threatened to kill himself with a knife and injure anyone who tried to interfere. Dumond was eventually arrested without injury after an officer from a nearby town came to the scene with an electric stun gun and subdued Dumond without injury.

Police Chief Paul McCarthy said Dumond broke into his ex-wife’s apartment in Westbrook Gardens just before 7 a.m. Sunday. After entering the apartment, McCarthy said Dumond began to threaten his ex-wife with the knife, while at the same time making threats to kill himself.

Dumond’s teenage son, who was in the apartment when Dumond broke in, received a cut on his hand when he unsuccessfully tried to take the knife away from Dumond, said McCarthy.

When police arrived on the scene, they evacuated several apartments around the one where Dumond was located. When police entered the apartment, Dumond created a standoff by holding the knife against himself and threatening to commit suicide if officers attempted to arrest him. In addition, McCarthy said Dumond threatened to attack anyone who tried to come close to him.

In an attempt to end the standoff without injury to anyone, McCarthy said police called the Windham Police Department and requested the assistance of an officer with an electric stun gun.

Windham Officer Jason Andrews came to the scene and was able to use the stun gun to incapacitate Dumond without incident, said McCarthy. The device uses a high voltage, low power electrical charge to cause involuntary muscle contractions that temporarily incapacitate a person, allowing officers to handcuff the suspect.

Dumond was first taken to Maine Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation and then he was taken to the Cumberland County Jail. McCarthy said Dumond has initially been charged with burglary and violation of a protection order. But he said the case is still being investigated and police are considering bringing charges of terrorizing, assault and creating a standoff against Dumond as well.

McCarthy said this incident underscores the need for the Westbrook police to acquire electric stun guns. “They’re a tremendous tool,” he said.

McCarthy said he would be sending a memo to the City Council asking for permission to purchase either four or five of the $800 stun guns. He said the department plans to use money seized from drug arrests to purchase the guns.

The department does not plan to purchase a stun gun for each officer on the force, McCarthy said. Instead, the stun guns would be available for each officer on a shift to sign in and out while they are on patrol.

When he formulated the police department budget for the coming fiscal year, McCarthy said he had originally included money to purchase the stun guns, but that money was eliminated from the budget by the city administration. He said the administration cut the stun guns from the budget knowing that the department might be able to use drug forfeiture money to purchase them.

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