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Houlton Burn Victim Faces Charges After Admitting to False Assault Claim

A Houlton man has finally admitted to police that he told them a fabricated story after he was supposedly assaulted and then suffered serious burns at the hand of another person in Hodgdon last fall.

According to Aroostook County Sheriff Darrell Crandall, police got a report of a local man being seriously injured in an assault that had allegedly occurred in Hodgdon on September 21st, 2014. Deputies learned that 21-year-old James Grant was hospitalized after sustaining second and third degree burns.

Aroostook County Sheriff’s Office

Grant had initially reported to Houlton Police that he was on his way home when he noticed a SUV in a field off the White Settlement Road in Hodgdon. Grant said that the vehicle was smoking so he pulled up to make sure that everyone was alright. Grant said as he did, someone in the vehicle threw a bottle into his vehicle, it exploded, and he caught on fire.

During the course of this lengthy investigation Grant identified a suspect from a group of photographs. Grant said the man he identified was a passenger in the vehicle, although he wasn’t sure if the suspect or the driver threw the bottle. The suspect, who is currently in jail on unrelated charges, adamantly denied having any involvement. He was given a polygraph examination, which indicated he was being truthful.

Upon further questioning, Grant recently admitted that he was alone at the time of the September incident and that he accidentally caused the fire while handling materials used to make methamphetamine. Unfortunately, physical evidence to support a drug offense was either intentionally destroyed or lost in the fire.

Grant was issued a summons charging him with filing a false public alarm or report, a Class D misdemeanor. Additional charges may follow. Grant will appear in Houlton District Court on May 19, 2015.

Deputy Sheriff Vance Palmer did the initial inquiry and the follow-up investigation was handled by Sergeant Erica Pelletier.




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