Frustrated Maine man tosses bed bugs on city employee

A Maine man frustrated because he didn't qualify for government assistance threw a cup of live bed bugs at a city employee.

The incident caused an Augusta, Maine, office building to abruptly close over the weekend so pest control professionals could rid the building of a possible infection.

Augusta, Maine, Code Enforcement Officer Rob Overton said the incident occurred after the man, who was never identified by the city, became angry after he was booted from his rental building and didn't qualify for public assistance.

The man first contacted the city on May 28, when he complained about his rental room's bed bug infestation. Overton said the city told him the bed bugs were his landlord's responsibility.

On Friday, the man came into the city office holding a cup of bed bugs.

By that time, he had moved out of the infested rental room and was living somewhere else. He arrived at the office to make sure the city did something to eradicate the bugs from his old room, which Overton called, "commendable."

The man's former landlord told the city they were removing the bugs. However, Overton said the city contacted the man's new building manager to make sure she was aware the man may be introducing bed bugs to that building.

The man left the building, only to return hours later saying he was being kicked out of his apartment and feared he would be homeless. The city tried to find him assistance through its Health and Welfare Department, but the man didn't qualify.

That's when he tossed the bugs on the counter and onto the employee. The live bugs started crawling away. Overton said he escorted the man outside and called the police. 

The building was treated and opened back up to employees on Monday. Another inspection is scheduled for next week. Overton said he was not aware of any issues with the employee.

The man has not been charged with a crime, Overton said. The Augusta Police Department did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the incident.

"I've certainly seen bed bugs before," Overton said, "but I've never seen them used in this manner."

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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