BRIDGTON, Maine — After an intruder entered their Bridgton, Maine, home Wednesday morning, a local car dealer and his wife are hospitalized at Maine Medical Center and a Bridgton man was arrested.
The victims of the early Wednesday attack allegedly carried out by Michael Holden, 37, of Bridgton are Robert and Margaret Macdonald, both 77.
According to police, Holden lived with his grandfather about a mile from the MacDonalds’ home.
Robert Macdonald is an owner of a Ford dealership, Macdonald Motors, in Bridgton and another Macdonald Motors dealership, at 61 East Conway Road in Center Conway. They are owned by several members of the Macdonald family, including Robert's daughter, Mary Macdonald.
Macdonald Motors has grown steadily over more than 70 years and three generations of Macdonalds. Roger Macdonald started it in 1946 with three cars on a small lot on Main Street in Bridgton.
The assault took place at the Macdonalds' home on Innisfree Lane on Long Lake.
Police were summoned by a 911 call that came in at around 8 a.m. Wednesday.
Following the attack, the Macdonalds were taken to Bridgton Hospital with serious head injuries, police said. Margaret was transported to Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, by the LifeFlight helicopter, and Robert was later taken by vehicle to Maine Med as well.
Responding to the 911 call were two officers from the Bridgton Police Department and a Cumberland County Sheriff's deputy.
Police Chief Robert Stillman described the crime as a "shock to the conscience" but also an isolated event that is rare in Bridgton.
Upon arrival, the police saw that the Macdonalds were seriously injured. They were transported to the hospital by United Ambulance of Bridgton.
Margaret Macdonald was on the floor near the front door while Robert MacDonald was ambulatory and was the one who made the 911 call, the chief said.
"The husband had fought the attacker," said Stillman, adding that the couple was "brutally attacked."
The officers swept the house and after the patients were removed did a sweep of outbuildings on the property, including a garage with in-law apartment building.
"While we were doing that, the deputy sheriff stayed outside to cover our position and, lo and behold, found Mr. Holden hiding behind an air-conditioning unit," said Stillman, adding that Holden was arrested within 20 minutes of law enforcement's arrival. It took four minutes to get to the scene, he said.
Stillman said Holden was held at gunpoint, cuffed and taken into custody.
Holden was charged with elevated aggravated assault, aggravated assault, burglary and possessing a scheduled drug.
Stillman said there is no ongoing threat to the community. "He is in custody," the chief said.
Stillman said the Macdonalds are well-known in town and are a large family. He said Bridgton residents are "very concerned for Peg and Bob."
"I've been a cop for a long time and the other officers there have been cops for over 10 years, and we all felt the same way that this was beyond the pale," said Stillman. "It should never happened."
Holden, whom Stillman said was "very well-known" to local police, is being held with no bail at Cumberland County Jail.
Holden's criminal history is 25 pages long.
The couple did not know Holden, and police are attempting to determine the circumstances and a motive for the violence.
As of about 1:40 p.m. Thursday, Robert Macdonald was listed in satisfactory condition and Margaret in fair condition, according to Maine Medical Center.
Holden's Facebook page says he attended Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School. He is due in Cumberland County court today at 1 p.m. for his initial appearance.