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Man shot at by U.S. officer near N.B. border didn't have bomb: police

A Rhode Island man was due in a Maine courtroom Wednesday after a security scare closed the border crossing between Woodstock, N.B., and Houlton, Maine, earlier this week.

Maine State Police tried to stop a blue 2005 Chevy pickup on Interstate 95 northbound in Houlton, around 10:40 a.m. Monday,

The force says Trooper Denver Roy saw a sign on the truck indicating that the driver had an explosive device on board.

Despite attempts by Roy to pull the vehicle over, it continued, stopping between the U.S. and Canadian ports of entry, police say.

At that point, troopers ordered the driver to get out of the vehicle.

That didn’t happen.

Instead, police say 42-year-old Tony Holford from Providence, R.I., moved his truck closer to the Canadian side of the border.

Maine State Trooper Cpl. Eric Paquette fired a shot at the driver.

Holford wasn’t injured.

Police say he surrendered to officers, and after being medically cleared, was taken to the Aroostook County Jail.

The area was closed off while crime scene technicians and the Maine State Police Bomb Squad processed the scene.

Police say no explosives were found.

Holford is charged with:

  • aggravated reckless conduct - Class B
  • terrorizing - Class D
  • failure to stop - Class E.

The Office of the Maine Attorney General is working with the Maine State Police to piece together the events that led up to the officer-involved shooting.

Both groups are collaborating with Canadian authorities to investigate the incident.

The border reopened Monday night at 10:45 p.m. to all traffic.

While it was closed, the Canada Border Services Agency ( CBSA ) redirected traffic to other crossings including St. Leonard, Edmundston and Centreville.

The Bloomfield border crossing was closed temporarily to allow officers to help with the operation in Woodstock.

According to the CBSA, since January, the Woodstock border crossing has seen an average of just over 490 vehicles per day entering New Brunswick.

That number includes more than 340 personal vehicles, and 150 commercial.

Those vehicles are carrying almost 870 travellers, including nearly 170 commercial travellers.

The busiest New Brunswick port of entry is St. Stephen, Ferry Point, which has an average daily count of 673 vehicles and 1,045 travellers.

On the American side of the border, about 350 vehicles and 350 commercial trucks enter into the U.S. through Houlton each day.

The busiest border crossing leading into Maine is Ferry Point Bridge in Calais, Maine, with over 800 vehicles and 1,400 passengers each day.

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