Monument Square Businesses Damaged by Arrested Man Needing Mental Health Care


Restaurant Owner David Turin, in Front of DAVID’s, 22 Monument Square, this Morning Where Two Glass Panels were Broken.  It Will Take a Month to Repair Them Both he Said Because They are “Laminated” Panels.

A Second Business at 15 Monument Square Suffered Broken Windows in the Early Sunday Morning Rampage by a Man Police Judged to be in Need of Mental Health Care?

“It all started on Saturday night with a mental health crisis.  Believing that he needed mental health care based on his behavior Saturday evening, Portland Police officers took him to Maine Medical Center that night.  He was released and not held,” said David Turn, owner of the popular David’s Restaurant, in Monument Square.  That is what  the Portland  Police told him yesterday when they notified Turin of the damage to the windows of his restaurant.

Turin was referring to the arrest early Sunday (yesterday) morning of Jimmy Burnett, 39, for Commercial Burglary Plus of two businesses in Monument Square.

It was the speculation of Turin that Burnett was turned away from mental health care at Maine Medical Center because it has so many COVID-19 patients to care for.

The Portland Police Department spokesman has been reticent about divulging public  information, although he did acknowledge that Burnett was “processed” this morning at the jail.  Presumably at Cumberland County Jail, but the spokesman wasn’t specific.  It’s not clear if he spent last night at the jail or somewhere elsewhere.

“Police are in a very difficult position.  They tried to do the right thing when they took him to Maine Medical Center for care,” said Turin.  “Perhaps Burnett was crying out for help. This behavior was the only way he knew how to ask for it because of his emotional issues,”  said

Is jail the best place for a man in need of mental health care?  Can’t the city do better?

An inquiry about the matter has been sent to John Porter, Communications Department for Maine Health, who manages Maine Medical Center.  (Porter used to be employed at The Portland Press Herald until he was fired from that publication.)  No response has been received.  None is expected.