ACTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A man in the York County town of Acton posted bail Monday night after an allegation that he hit a woman while he was driving his tractor — and that he did it intentionally.
He's now out on bail and Tuesday afternoon spoke with NEWS CENTER about his version of what happened, which varies greatly from the original press release the York County Sheriff's office released to the media.
Leslie Dennis, 64, pulls up his tee shirt, exposing a long gash on his torso, blue bruising around it and another cut and bruise below his belly. He says both were made when he was hit by a shovel.
"Well, this is when I was attacked on my tractor. Her son came after me with a shovel, hit me in the side here," Dennis said. "Then I tried to protect myself with my hand and he got me in the hand and then he grabbed ahold of my wrist with his teeth and he was biting me.”
The incident happened Monday night in the rural section of Acton where Dennis lives with his wife. He manages several homes on the property that belong to a family trust.
Dennis said he has had ongoing trouble with one tenant, and served her eviction papers in June with a move out date of Aug. 10. Dennis told police he asked the woman to "not" remove plants from his property several times on Monday.
The wounds to his torso and right hand, covered in bruises and cuts, according to Dennis, happenned Monday shortly before 10 p.m.
Dennis told NEWS CENTER he had been helping another neighbor who was working on an antique car when he heard a commotion at his home. He said when he got there, the woman’s son hit him with a shovel.
Dennis explains as he describes the wounds covering his hands and arm.
"This is trying to get him off and at the same time the machine, the tractor’s out of control because I can’t let go of the pedals, so the thing is going around in circles."
According to an initial press release by the York County Sheriff’s office, Dennis hit the man with the tractor and ran over his mother, the tenant, breaking her hip.
Dennis, who has heart issues and cares for his ailing wife, said he needs to use his tractor to get around the large property. He vows he didn’t use his tractor as a weapon or hit her on purpose, but has a different view of what was done to him.
"He come up on the side of me and he walloped me with a shovel," Dennis said. "That’s how he got me the first time because I didn’t even know he was there."
Dennis' other neighbors, who are restoring an antique VW beetle, corroborated his story. They said they were with him that night. They describe him as kind, generous, even gentle.
Dennis was charged with criminal assault.
York County Sheriff William King said he will be investigating to determine whether the tenant's son should face assault charges in his alleged attack of Dennis.