A 10-hour standoff between police and a former Verso Paper mill worker in Jay ended peacefully yesterday. According to police, the former worker was armed and held the mill manager hostage for several hours before releasing him and finally surrendering.
According to police, Francis Smith of Norridgewock entered the mill around 8:30 yesterday morning with a shotgun and held manager Marc Connor at gunpoint inside his office in the administrative building, according to the Sun Journal. Maine State Police negotiators and tactical team responded. Smith released Connor around 3:30 p.m. and peacefully surrendered at 6:30 p.m. He was arrested and charged with creating a police standoff and kidnapping. According to the paper, Smith was fired six months ago after he sprayed a coworker in the face with a hose.
The mill went into lockdown and trucks delivering wood chips and pulp were barred from entering. However, work continued inside the mill, where all employees were deemed safe.