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Police: Renter strikes Maine woman with cast-iron pan

James Nields (Two Bridges Regional Jail)

PHIPPSBURG (BDN) -- A 58-year-old Phippsburg woman was hospitalized Thursday afternoon after a man she was renting a room to allegedly hit her twice in the head with a cast-iron pan before dragging her by the hair across a room.

James Nields, 53, was charged with aggravated assault and taken to Mid Coast Hospital and then Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, Phippsburg police Chief John Skroski said.

Nields is originally from Massachusetts but has lived in the Popham area for the past four years, Skroski said.

Phippsburg police, along with Sagadahoc County Sheriff’s Office detectives, were called to the home on Parker Head Road just before 2 p.m.

Nields, who Skroski said had been drinking, allegedly became irritated with the victim over an issue with her dog.

While Phippsburg ambulance took the woman to Mid Coast Hospital, Nields fled into the woods after making statements that he would injure himself, Skroski said.

Topsham police Officer Lucas Shirland and his tracking dog searched the area unsuccessfully, but Phippsburg police Officer Zech Thomas remained in the area. Later Thursday evening, Nields emerged from the woods near the house, shirtless, and was arrested.

He allegedly told Skroski he was remorseful.

The woman was released from Mid Coast Hospital later on Thursday.

Nields was charged with Class B felony aggravated assault. He is scheduled to appear in Lincoln County Superior Court on Sept. 18, but Skroski said he would likely be arraigned Friday.

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