Friday, November 21, 2008


According to the American Journal, Abbas Al-Hamdany, a co-owner of Friendly Discount on Main Street, was arrested by the Westbrook police this afternoon for trafficking cocaine.

Al-Hamdany, an Iraqi native who served federal jail time for a similar arrest ten years ago, has gained some notoriety over the last five years as one of the Press Herald's go-to guys for American-Iraqi reaction to events occurring in that country since the American invasion in March 2003.

A quick search on Maine Marvel! also yielded another nugget: The Westbrook City Council approved (6-2) the renewal of Friendly Discount's license to sell tobacco and food in May 2002, despite Al-Hamdany's wife incorrectly reporting on an application that her husband had not been convicted of a felony in the previous three years (she argued her mistake was an honest one, since she based her answer on the date the crime had occurred instead of the date of his conviction). The Westbrook Police subsequently dropped charges accusing the couple of falsifying information.

(Update: Proving once again that he's eager to fill the media vacuum vacated by former Portland Police Chief "Media" Mike Chitwood, Westbrook Police Chief "Bustlin'" Bill Baker invited the media to witness Al-Hamdany's arrest yesterday afternoon. However, a photograph of Al-Hamdany's perp walk, which figured prominently on page four of this morning's Press Herald, is not online.)

- John C.L. Morgan


Anonymous said...

The 2002 issue was rather dubious in that Abbas' wife actually made out her application after a discussion with Jerre Bryant about this very issue. She did as she was advised.

No one has ever been able to prove any of the drug allegations against Abbas over the past six years, and God knows the Westbrook PD has tried. I will be interested to see if they get any traction this time.

Westbrook Diarist said...

Thank you for providing some context.

Anonymous said...

I think it was a nice touch that the Chief 1) invited the press and 2) waited until 4 PM knowing full well that would mean Abbas would be in the jail over the weekend. Real Nice and sweet don't you think, given that we are all presumed innocent until proven guilty. The guy has a baby boy that is under a year old. The message here is pretty simple. Don't mess with the Westbrook PD.