Man Allegedly Throws Bedbugs at Case Worker

In Augusta, Maine, bedbugs have become more than household pests. Police say they were used to carry out a crime.

Charles Manning, 74, of Augusta, has been charged with misdemeanor assault and obstructing government operation.

Police say Manning spilled a cup full of bedbugs on the Augusta General Assistance office desk, and several of the bugs landed on a case worker.

"They hit my arm, and they hit my body," said Sarah Russell, the case worker hit with the bedbugs. "I was shocked."

The Augusta City Center had to be evacuated and closed for the day, as an exterminator treated the building for bedbugs.

On Thursday, Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney announced Manning would face criminal charges.

"I'm not looking for Mr. Manning to spend time in jail," she said. "What I'm looking for is to make sure this doesn't happen again."

She said bedbugs are a problem in the Augusta area, but she has never heard of them being used in an assault.

Manning could not be reached for comment Friday. Maloney said he will appear in court in August.

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