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Auburn police increasing patrols at park following recent attacks

Two people were charged with aggravated assault following an attack in the area of Bonney Park and Moulton Field on Monday.

AUBURN, Maine — Police in Auburn are increasing patrol throughout Bonney Park and Moulton Field following multiple attacks there this spring.

"You never know what's going to happen," Victoria Crowley said. Crowley lives in the apartment complex next to Bonney Park. Crowley said she'd noticed an uptick in violence at the park in recent months.

"I don't even dare to go down through there. Nope. And I don't like to go to the store at night, either," Crowley said.

According to Auburn Deputy Police Chief Tim Cougle, police responded to reports of an assault happening in near Moulton Field on Monday.

"A group of young people [adults] had been in an altercation on Oxford Street in Lewiston around 4:30 p.m. Lewiston police responded to the initial call, issued a disorderly conduct warning, and dispersed the group," Cougle wrote to NEWS CENTER Maine in email. "Later, this same group made their way to Auburn, where police were called for a report of an assault taking place in Moulton Field. Officers responded and located the person(s) responsible for the assaults and made two arrests."

According to Cougle, 20-year-old Jeremiah Gertsch and 26-year-old Jonathan Perez, both of Auburn, are charged with aggravated assault.

Nicole Hodsdon wrote to NEWS CENTER Maine and claimed her 35-year-old son was the victim. Hodsdon said her son received a concussion, a broken jaw, several damaged teeth, and eight staples on his left arm in the attack.

Cougle said that on Monday evening, another person reported being assaulted in the area; however, the victim "refused to cooperate with police."

These incidents took place at the same park where two people experiencing homeless were allegedly attacked by a group of teenagers. Three teens are now facing assault charges connected to that incident.

"I don't even dare to walk through the trestle park over here, and it's beautiful," Auburn resident Bonnie Carr said. Carr also lives in an apartment complex next to the parks. 

"It's getting out of hand," Carr said. 

The Auburn Police Department is now looking to increase safety in the area.

"The department has increased officer foot patrols, as well as vehicle patrols, through Bonney Park and Moulton Field and will continue these additional patrols throughout the summer months," Cougle said.

Cougle added the Auburn Police Department would continue to investigate the recent incidents.

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