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SEARSPORT, Maine — Authorities say a two-mile section of Route 1 between Searsport and Stockton Springs has been shut down, along with a local school district, as police look for a motorist.
The driver allegedly pointed a gun at a local police officer during a traffic stop and fled.
More than three dozen police officers, including the state police tactical team, have been searching for 55-year-old Randall Hofland of Stockton Springs.
Authorities say his car was located in a field off Route 1 in Searsport on Thursday night at about 11 p.m.
PORTSMOUTH HERALD
 

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The search continues tonight for the man who allegedly fled after pointing a gun at police last night.

Police say the suspect fled after being stopped at a safety check point and failed to dim his headlights while approaching. As an officer reached into the car to attempt to turn off the blinding headlamps he was greeted with a weapon according to police. The car then fled around the roadblock to an area where the suspect parked and fled on foot. The suspect ,according to reports, has a history of writing against police safety roadblocks in blogs.

Randall Hofland, whom police say now has a mustache. (Image courtesy of Maine Department of Public Safety)
 

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STOCKTON SPRINGS (Oct 31): Maine State Police report that 55-year-old Randall Hofland was taken into custody Friday morning, Oct. 31, after allegedly holding 11 children hostage at gunpoint in a classroom at Stockton Springs Elementary School.Hofland was reportedly tackled outside a fifth-grade classroom by a state trooper, who was one of the first police officers to arrive at the school shortly after 9 a.m.
Hofland was armed with a handgun, according to Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety. He had released all of the students and had given the gun to one of the children before he was taken into custody, McCausland said.
Randall Hofland
Maine State Police received the first call at about 8:42 a.m., and Hofland was under arrest at 9:08 a.m. No one was reported injured. Hofland was taken to the Waldo County Jail in Belfast.
Reporter Steve Fuller, who is on the scene in Stockton Springs, said there were at least seven cruisers from the sheriff's department, Maine State Police and Stockton Springs Police Department parked on the school grounds. An unknown number of officers are gathered inside.
Fuller said there appear to be no children at the school. They reportedly were taken to Searsport on school buses.
Hofland, of Searsport, was the subject of a weeklong manhunt after he reportedly pointed a gun at Searsport police officer during a seat belt safety check Oct. 23.
Police had asked the public to remain vigilant while they continued to look for Hofland, who was described as 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds. SAD 56 schools were closed Friday, Oct. 24 while the search was under way. Searsport Police Chief Dick LaHaye said there were concerns about children waiting in their driveways for school buses during the manhunt.
Tuesday, Oct. 28, interim Superintendent Ray Freve said all SAD 56 schools remained in a state of heightened security. He said all exterior doors were being kept locked, and visitors must be let inside the building by a secretary or other staff member.
Freve said extra security measures are being taken when students go outside for recess, and that all such precautions would remain in place until further notice.
Hofland has lived in the area for about seven years, according to LaHaye. An Internet search of Hofland's name turned up a number of postings on message boards, one of which was the Web site for the Union Leader newspaper in Manchester, N.H.
A story posted on the Union Leader's site June 16, 2008, told about a New Hampshire State Police "sobriety checkpoint." During a four-hour period, 187 drivers were stopped and six were arrested.
One person who posted comments on the story identified himself as "R. Hofland" from "Stockton, ME." His postings made clear his opposition to such stops.
"Only a fool would believe this pattern of 'stops' is not a violation of the intent of the 4th Amendment (and of the Bill of Rights in general), yet our Supreme Courts (NH and US for sure) have condoned these laws and their intrusions on our privacy and property," the poster, identified as "R. Hofland," wrote. "Those that tolerate it are doomed to a lifetime of such intrusions."
"R. Hofland" said he had been stopped at a similar checkpoint several years earlier while working in California. He said he had refused to produce his driver's license and registration when asked to do so. "R. Hofland" also said he was recording all of the conversations he had with police officers at that stop.
When another poster criticized "R. Hofland" for his statements, "R. Hofland" replied that such stops represent "an avalanche of seditious conspiracy by our government against the Rights of The People!"
VILLAGE SOUP
 

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Alleged Stockton Springs Gunman Arraigned

Suspect Held On $300,000 Cash Bail

BELFAST, Maine -- Prosecutors have filed additional charges against a 55-year-old Searsport man who allegedly took 11 fifth-graders hostage at an elementary school in Stockton Springs while he was on the run from police.

Randall Hofland appeared Monday in Superior Court in Belfast on a charge of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon for allegedly pointing a gun at a police officer and driving away from a seat belt safety roadblock on Oct. 23.

Hofland also was charged with kidnapping, burglary and criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon in connection with the incident Friday at Stockton Springs Elementary School. He did not enter any pleas and was ordered held in the Waldo County Jail on bail totaling $1.1 million in real estate or $300,000 cash.

http://www.wmtw.com/news/17876356/detail.html
 

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Man Pleads: Not Guilty To Taking Class Hostage

Hofland Charged With 22 Counts Kidnapping

BELFAST, Maine -- A 55-year-old Searsport man has pleaded not guilty to charges of taking a Stockton Springs fifth-grade class hostage while armed with a handgun.

Randall Hofland entered his plea Wednesday in Waldo County Superior Court in Belfast, but offered no explanation.

He is charged with 22 counts of kidnapping, 12 counts of criminal restraint with a dangerous weapon, six counts of criminal threatening with a dangerous weapon and one count of burglary.
Police said Hofland entered the school at 8:35 a.m. Halloween day and held the class hostage with a 10 mm handgun.

He was later tackled by a state trooper when he stepped into the hallway. Nobody was injured.

He is being held on $1 million bail at the Penobscot County Jail.

http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/18436233/detail.html
 

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"He was later tackled by a state trooper when he stepped into the hallway"

That sounds pretty badass. Nice work Trooper!
 

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Maine jury finds school gunman guilty

Saturday 29th January, 2011 Source: San Francisco Chronicle

(01-28) 20:14 PST Belfast, Maine (AP) -- A Maine jury has found a 57-year-old man guilty of holding a group of fifth-graders hostage.
Randall Hofland of Searsport was accused of holding 11 children at gunpoint on Oct. 31, 2008. Hofland showed up at the school after being on the run for eight days after allegedly pointing a gun at a police officer during a routine traffic stop.
The hostage situation ended when he was tackled by a state police trooper.
No children were hurt. Hofland was defending himself against 41 criminal charges. The Bangor Daily News says the jury deliberated for four hours Friday before finding Hofland guilty on 38 charges.
The newspaper says another trial will be held to determine if he was insane at the time of the crime.
___ Information from: Bangor Daily News...

Read the full story at San Francisco Chronicle
 
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