PORTLAND, Maine – The Democratic lawyer who donned an Usama bin Laden costume replete with toy assault rifle to make a political statement on Halloween is facing additional charges over the incident, officials said Wednesday.
Tom Connolly, 49, of Scarborough, faces new charges of terrorizing and reckless conduct, in addition to the original charge of criminal threatening, Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson announced. All three are misdemeanors.
"Halloween or not, in this day and age you do not get to dress as an international terrorist and wave what appears to be an AK-47 at rush hour traffic," Anderson said.
Police officers responding to calls from motorists on Interstate 295 found a man wearing a white robe and carrying a fake assault rifle.
The costume included plastic dynamite and grenades, in addition to the toy assault rifle. Before he was arrested, Connolly walked toward officers as plastic grenades tumbled onto the ground, an officer said.
Connolly is fortunate that he wasn't shot, Anderson said. "But for the control of South Portland Police Officer Kevin Battle, he is lucky to be alive. Not only was it ill conceived, it was criminal behavior," the prosecutor said in a statement.
Connolly gained national notoriety as the lawyer who divulged President Bush's drunken-driving arrest days before the 2000 election.
The one-time Democratic gubernatorial nominee loves to needle the president. During the Democratic Convention, he passed out "W is for Wiener" buttons. He also has been known to don a George W. Bush mask and dance herky-jerky style for passing motorists.
On Halloween, he was making a political statement about the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, which was defeated voters on Nov. 7. At least one person who saw a sign held by Connolly thought it said "Taliban," not TABOR, police said.