GARDINER — Two Gardiner men — one driving a pickup truck and the other driving a tractor — were arrested Monday night after a confrontation on Ledgewood Lane where they rammed each other with their vehicles repeatedly.
The man driving the tractor, 63-year-old Robert Wilson, was sentenced to 30 days in jail on Tuesday after pleading guilty to operating under the influence and reckless conduct. His driver’s license was also suspended for 150 days and he was ordered to pay a $500 fine and $185 in other fees.
The man driving the truck, 62-year-old Preston Cates, was arrested on charges of reckless conduct with a dangerous weapon and criminal mischief, according to police logs, but was released from the police station on bail Monday night.
According to court documents written by Gardiner police officer Daniel Ross, city officers responded to a civil complaint on Ledgewood Lane around 8:30 p.m. involving Wilson and Cates, involving a possible violation of a protection order. Fifteen minutes later, police received a report of a fight on Ledgewood Lane.
When Ross arrived on the scene, he reportedly saw Wilson operating “an orange tractor” and Cates was operating “a green pickup truck with a plow on it.” He said “both parties were ramming each other” and were “ordered several times at gunpoint to shut the vehicles off.” After several commands, they shut off their vehicles and were detained by police while they investigated the incident. Ross said there was “noticeable damage to both vehicles” and both parties were aggressors in the altercation.
A witness reportedly told Ross that Wilson was plowing the end of the road with his tractor when Cates’s wife started yelling at him and recording him on a cell phone. Wilson reportedly backed the tractor up toward his residence when Cates blocked the road with his vehicle, then the pair began ramming each other’s vehicles.
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Court documents stated that Ross smelled a “strong odor of intoxicating beverages” coming from Wilson and he was “unsteady on his feet.” Wilson also reportedly yelled at the Cateses a number of times before he was taken to the Police Department, where he refused sobriety tests.
Gardiner police Chief Jim Toman and Ross were unavailable for comment Tuesday. Gardiner Detective Todd Pilsbury was out of the office Tuesday and unable to provide comment.
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