BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – The suspect charged with assault in an alleged racially-motivated incident in Bangor has announced plans to sue for defamation.
Joshua Pendergast was charged with assault after an incident that happened near the intersection of Essex and Somerset Street late Friday night.
The incident gained a lot of attention on social media after alleged bystander Kate Dickerson took to Facebook with her account.
Dickerson claimed in the post that the victim, who she gave the name Isaac, was targeted because of his race.
A press release from Attorney Christopher Largay of Largay Law Offices in Bangor claimed “the facts of this incident have been grossly exaggerated, twisted, factually misrepresented and mis-reported by many.”
Largay would not indicate who the lawsuit is against, but told NEWS CENTER it may include public officials.
“It absolutely was not racial nor was it politically motivated,” Largay said.
Largay claims a man in a hoodie approached Pendergast and his wife around 9:30 p.m. Friday night, prompting him to step between the man and his wife. Largay says his client “had marks on his face” after the incident.
Bangor Police never classified the case as a hate crime.
"I don't have first-hand knowledge of [Dickerson's] connection," Cotton said. "Only what I have seen on Facebook."
That did not stop several city officials, including council chairman Joe Baldacci, as well as councilors Ben Sprague and Sarah Nichols from taking to their social media accounts about the incident.
"[The Dickersons] have been involved in the community in a number of different ways. They're both good people I've known them for a long time," Baldacci said Tuesday.
Baldacci refused to comment on the announcement of a lawsuit Wednesday night.
“I think social media, while it has the power to harm people like my client, also has the power for retribution,” Largay said.
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