Conflicting reports surface from weekend bar fight; race may have been factor
FORT KENT – Police have charged Kevin Phillips, 21, of Troy, N.Y., with aggravated assault after a fight in a local bar late Friday night and early Saturday morning.
According to Police Chief Kenneth Michaud, a fight broke out at BeeJay's Tavern at approximately 12 a.m. between Phillips and John Kelly of Fort Kent.
Police were handling another complaint at the time, and were unable to respond immediately to the call. The dispatcher did send an ambulance, said Michaud.
The ambulance took Kelly, who received a head injury, to the Northern Maine Medical Center for treatment.
There are conflicting statements from witnesses regarding the cause of the fight.
According to statements that Chief Michaud referenced during a phone interview on Monday afternoon, a person who was at the bar stated that Kelly called Phillips a racial slur. Phillips responded by hitting Kelly.
Michaud said that a witness also claimed Kelly voiced a death threat against black people in Fort Kent.
According to Kelly's statement, he claimed a man confronted him on the dance floor Friday night and told Kelly he disliked the way Kelly was dancing. Then someone, allegedly Phillips, struck Kelly on the head from behind. Kelly fell and split his head on the floor.
Later that night into early Saturday morning, a group of Kelly's friends drove a couple of vehicles to the UMFK campus to try to apprehend Phillips, said Michaud.
The police blotter record during that time states that a UMFK staff member called at 1:33 a.m. and then again at 1:42 a.m. regarding people from “four vehicles in back of Crocker (Hall) trying to get in.”
The group was unable to enter the residence hall, and an officer, Dalen Boucher, went to the campus and ordered the people to leave.
Kelly came to the police station on Saturday and filed a report.
Police are still investigating, but have charged Phillips with aggravated assault. He will appear in court on June 17.
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