Police still searching for Rumford slashing suspect

Police searching for armed assailant

RUMFORD/MEXICO — Police say they continued to search on Thursday for a Rumford man suspected of slashing a kidnapping victim’s face with a knife during a robbery on May 19.
Police identified Randall Chapman, 37, as the assailant. When seeking help from the public to find him, police Chief Stacy Carter said Tuesday morning that Chapman “should not be approached and is considered to be armed and dangerous.”
Instead, people were urged to contact police at 364-4551 if they spot Chapman.
“We’re still working on trying to locate Mr. Chapman,” Carter said Thursday afternoon. “I suspect he’s fled the area.”
He said he hasn’t received any word from other police agencies that Chapman, who used to live in South Paris and Lewiston, is in custody somewhere.
Police Sgt. James Bernard said the 44-year-old victim came to Rumford to meet a friend and while in town on Monday had been assaulted, robbed of his cash and forced by Chapman to go to an ATM and withdraw money.
Bernard said the victim was held against his will at knife point.
While they were en route to an ATM, the victim saw a Dixfield and a Mexico police cruiser parked near the Labonville store in Mexico on Route 2, Carter said.
“The victim pulled into the lot, beeping his horn and yelling for help,” he said. “At this time, the assailant slashed the victim’s face and fled toward the river.”
Rumford officers were asked at 10:01 p.m. Monday to help Mexico police in pursuit of a man fleeing toward the Androscoggin River near the Veterans Memorial Bridge on Route 2.
Local, county and state police conducted an extensive search of the riverbank using thermal imaging cameras, but did not find the suspect.
If Chapman did enter the river, Bernard said, “He may have gotten into trouble.”