There must be some major discontent against the Census Bureau in Maine, as Census Bureau employees faced angry citizens on at least two occasions in recent days. (If you know of other incidents of assault or abuse against Census Bureau employees, please do not hesitate to let us know.) The following comes from the Maine Public Broadcasting Network:
Gov. John Baldacci today is encouraging Mainers to fill out and mail back their 2010 Census forms, as authorities look into the alleged assaults last week of two Census workers in the state.
Authorities told the Bangor Daily News that Wesley Storer, 61, of Bar Harbor is facing criminal retraint, assault and theft charges after tearing the ID badge off a 50-year-old female U.S. Census worker last Monday at an apartment building he owns in Harrington.
Storer then blocked the woman from leaving the building, Washington County Sheriff Department officials told the paper. Officials say Storer was intoxicated.
On Friday, a Brooksville man was charged with simple assault after he allegedly grabbed and pushed a 39-year-old female census worker who knocked on his door. Authorities say James Swift, 53, grabbed and pushed the woman after she tried to leave census papers on his doorknob. The worker did not require medical attention, the paper reports.
U.S. Census workers are currently gathering information for the once-in-a-decade survey of population trends. The incidents have prompted a warning to Census staff. “It has not changed protocol for us, but we have reiterated to our staff to use extreme caution,” says Terry Drake, the local census office manager based in Augusta.
Drake’s office is still hiring workers, and it’s too early to say whether the assaults will affect recruiting. Drake says that the two workers who were assaulted are still on the job.