Orneville man arrested after allegedly kidnapping his son and threatening his family
DEXTER — An Orneville man is facing multiple charges after allegedly kidnapping his 4-year-old son from his mother-in-law’s home and fleeing in a vehicle, then returning for money and trying to take his daughter.
Travis Lawler, 32, kicked the door, ripped the porch screen window and later used a glass honey jar to smash a window, while breaking into his mother-in-law’s home on Railroad Avenue in Dexter, according to an incident report filed by James Roy, an officer for the Dexter Police Department. Lawler’s son was hit by flying glass.
During the altercation, Lawler threatened to kill his family if police were called, according to the Dexter Police Department.
Once inside, Lawler grabbed his son from his wife’s arms and took the child to his truck. His wife attempted to retrieve the child, but Lawler began to speed off with the door still open, the report said.
Lawler returned about 15 to 20 minutes later, asking for gas money and grabbing his daughter. The child was said to be 2 years old in one report from police and 3 years old in another. Lawler eventually gave the child back to his wife.
The mother-in-law was at Walmart in Newport when her daughter made contact. After she heard yelling and the connection ended, she became worried and called 911.
Lawler was arrested Wednesday after he was unable to take his daughter and fled on foot, with his son, into the wooded area behind his mother-in-law’s home, police said.
Lawler is charged with two counts of kidnapping, a Class A crime, and burglary, a Class B crime. Lawler is also charged with domestic violence criminal threatening, domestic violence terrorizing, domestic violence assault, criminal trespassing, criminal mischief and refusing to submit to arrest, all Class D crimes.
Police arrived at the reported kidnapping around 5:20 p.m. Wednesday. Roy checked the ATV trail and adjacent fields and did not see Lawler and his son, his report said.
When officers spotted Lawler walking across a field toward the home, he asked them to put their guns away and said, “Don’t make this a hostage situation,” according to the report.
Lawler refused to cooperate with authorities, but officers eventually took him into custody. No one was hurt, police said.
Lawler was booked into the Penobscot County Jail on Wednesday night. He is being held on $25,000 cash bail or single surety worth $50,000.
He also may not use or possess any dangerous weapons or firearms, or have any direct or indirect contact with any of the alleged victims. Lawless was ordered not to return to his Orneville address nor to his mother-in-law’s home in Dexter.
He is scheduled to appear in Unified Criminal Court at 8:30 a.m. on July 19.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.