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Man who had explosive police standoff reaches plea deal

October 12, 2018

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A Maine man won’t have to go jail for causing a standoff that ended with him being shot three times and his home destroyed by a police explosive.

Michael Grendell, 61, pleaded no contest Friday to criminal threatening and reckless conduct. Under the agreement, an attempted murder charge was dropped and Grendell was sentenced to 38 days, the amount of time he already spent at a state psychiatric hospital.

He walked free after the court hearing.

The Bangor Daily News reports the June standoff in Dixmont is believed to be the first time Maine police ended a standoff by using a robot to deliver an explosive.

“I’m grateful that nobody else got hurt and I’m thankful to be alive,” Grendell told the judge. He said he wants to continue receiving mental health treatment. “I don’t ever want to go back to that state where I was when all this happened,” he said.

The explosive was used to draw Grendell out of his house after an extended standoff when he’d fired at police officers, authorities said. The blast destroyed part of his home and Grendell was shot three times when he emerged with a rifle.

The case raised questions about the police’s military-style tactics against a man in the throes of a mental health crisis.

The roof collapsed after the explosion blew out the first floor of his home, leaving just a concrete slab remaining.

“I’m just astonished they could use this much destructive power against a citizen,” Grendell’s attorney, David Bate, told Maine Public before the hearing. “And I’m just astonished that the citizen survived. It’s a miracle.”

Grendell was psychotic and delusional at the time of the episode, a forensic psychologist testified Friday. He’s since been diagnosed with a depressive disorder with psychotic features.

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