A Belfast man has been charged with assault and terrorizing as a result of an Oct. 31 incident that occurred at the intersection of Cedar and Main streets.
Benjamin E. Williams, 51, was attempting to turn onto Cedar Street from Main Street when the incident occurred.
The intersection was being monitored by a volunteer of the organization Patriot Riders of America, Chapter Five due to the hundreds of children trick-or-treating in the street.
According to its mission statement: “Patriot Riders major functions are to help all American Veterans, the people in our communities, to encourage rider participation in events, and to promote motorcycle safety. We support the Constitution of the United States of America, the right to freedom for all and our fellow Patriot Riders members. Patriot Riders are not connected with, or an affiliate of, any other organization and we DO NOT raise funds for profit.”
Chapter Five member Anthony Sweetland was monitoring the intersection, stopping drivers as they attempted to turn, and asking them whether they lived on the road, and suggesting that they take an alternate street given the number of children.
“We’re out [on Halloween] handing like little knick-knacks for children, and we’ve had a lot of speeding cars zipping through Cedar Street,” Sweetland said the night of the alleged assault.
According to Sweetland, it was around 5:30 p.m. that Williams attempted to enter the street and was stopped by Sweetland, who said he asked whether or not he lived on the street.
That’s when the altercation occurred, with both men ending up on the ground. Sweetland said he did not fight back during the alleged assault.
Belfast Police, who were also monitoring another Cedar Street intersection, arrived on the scene quickly and the case was investigated by Officer Mike McFadden IV.
Sweetland said it was his first time attending Halloween on Cedar Street, though the organization was there the prior year.
Despite the incident, Sweetland said he plans to return next year.
“We’re always trying to give a good, proper, kind of showmanship to the public, you know helping veterans out, first responders, people that need the help, or not so much help, but kind of having their back,” he said.
Williams was charged with terrorizing due to threatening statements he allegedly made during the incident.
*This story was updated to reflect the origin of the charge of terrorizing.
Erica Thoms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org