The Portland Police Department is warning the public about the release on bail of a man charged with threatening display of a weapon who has said he plans to force a confrontation with police.
Carlos Reed, 27, of Portland was released Friday, with a listed address of 49 Falmouth St., Apt. 1B, according to a release from the police department Friday. He was released on personal recognizance.
Police say Reed was found walking on Forest Avenue near Woodfords Corner on Sept. 27 at 1 a.m., wearing a camouflage bulletproof vest and carrying an assault rifle with a scope and laser sight. He also had a total of four magazines for the assault rifle containing 120 rounds of ammunition, and a handgun strapped to his ankle.
Officers were already in the area after receiving a 911 call from a concerned citizen. They released Reed pending review of the case, but seized the guns.
A warrant was issued after a review by the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office. Reed was arrested by the Maine State Police in Lebanon on Oct. 4. At that time, he was also issued a criminal summons on the charge of illegal possession of hypodermic apparatus and the charge of possession of schedule Z drugs. Police are testing the drugs, but believe they are steroids.
A search of Reed’s vehicle at the time also turned up a .22-caliber handgun and a bulletproof vest, police said.
Officials said Reed has repeatedly said he is exercising his constitutional rights to openly carry a weapon, and that he intends to arm himself again and force confrontations with police.
Reed is an Iraq War veteran who said that he was conducting a military training mission when he was stopped by Portland officers. He has several bail conditions, including no possession of firearms and ammunition and a curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
Police are advising anyone who encounters Reed not to approach him, but if he's armed, to call 911.
Reed’s attorney, Neale Duffett, said he was unaware that the Portland police had held a press conference cautioning the public about his client until being informed about it by a reporter.
“Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, and we look forward to seeing this case resolved in a manner that is satisfactory to all parties,” Duffett said, declining to comment specifically about the police warning.
Several Maine police chiefs had asked the state Legislature earlier this year to tighten the state law allowing people to openly carry firearms, partly in response to an incident in Portland in which a man carried an assault rifle through several neighborhoods on the day before Christmas 2012. The effort failed. The man, identified as 24-year-old Justin Dean, said he was a college student who left the Army in July after tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. During Dean’s walk from the West End to Parkside and along the Back Cove Trail, 65 people called police after seeing him walking with a rifle.
That incident took place 10 days after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said at the time that officers lacked any legal authority to determine whether the gun was loaded, whether it complied with the federal ban on automatic weapons, or even whether Dean possessed the rifle legally.