Rene Guay, the former Somerset County sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot a woman during a highly controversial 1992 raid, travelled to Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 and allegedly took part in the violent insurrection at the Capitol that left five people dead. Guay boasted online that he was armed with a baseball bat inscribed with a pro-Trump message, but the owner of the Maine company that made the bat says he’s “appalled” and “sickened” that his business played a role in Guay’s trip.
Investigative journalist Crash Barry (a co-founder of Mainer) documented Guay’s journey to D.C. in a short video and interviewed Ron Saslow, co-owner of Dove Tail Bats, located in the tiny Northern Maine town of Shirley.
“It was appalling to us at Dove Tail that we got mixed up with this loser and, quite frankly, anyone that was involved in the riot whatsoever,” Saslow told Barry. “It’s 100 percent against our philosophy. I was sickened by it personally, and sickened by the situation as an American who is not crazy.”
In a Dec. 28 Facebook post, Guay announced he was getting the bat to bring to the capital the following week. The inscription reads “Trump Won/Period.” In the post, Guay referred to the bat as his “Commie Corrector.” In another post, he said the bat was for “hitting melons.”
In previous social-media posts, Guay shared racist and homophobic messages, and praised Kyle Rittenhouse, the teen who shot three people, killing two, during protests against police violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer. “In order to save our republic,” Guay wrote, “we need to ‘Kyle’ the enemy!”
As detailed in Barry’s video, Guay and two other Mainers attended Trump’s Jan. 6 rally together, then walked to the Capitol while live-streaming the experience on Facebook. Guay was concealing his bat in an American flag. The livestream failed before the group got to the Capitol, but one of Guay’s associates claims Guay got inside the building with the bat.
“Of course I hate to see violence erupt there, in the Capitol, or any other capitol,” Guay told a TV reporter after the riot. “But even more what I hate to see is a communist takeover, and that’s exactly what’s happening.”
Following the failed insurrection, Guay wrote on social media that Saslow asked him to remove the post bragging about his Dove Tail bat “because he’s getting attacked” for making the bat. “I told him I didn’t want to take it down, as I didn’t want to be a coward to the Commies.”
Guay, who’s since deleted his Facebook account, lives in Dennistown Plantation and owns a wood-products company called Spirit of the Woods. He claimed that both his company and Dove Tail Bats were “suffering” as a result of being outed by Barry.
According to Saslow, Guay told the company the Trump bat would be displayed in his office, like a trophy, not brandished as a weapon against fellow Americans.
“We monitor very closely what is said on [our bats],” Saslow told Barry. “So it can’t be offensive, swear words, derogatory statements. … [W]ith this one particular bat, we failed. … I’m disappointed and ashamed that one of our bats got out there with that statement.”
Saslow said this incident prompted Dove Tail to put additional safeguards in place to prevent hateful or incendiary language from being inscribed on its products. “We’re a small business in Maine, we’re trying to survive, keep people employed,” said Saslow. “With a small operation, sometimes mistakes happen, and in this case it did. … We were burned.”
Guay and two other officers fatally shot 51-year-old Katherine Hegarty in 1992 during a nighttime raid on her remote cabin in Jackman, where she was alone with a shotgun for protection. The officers were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing, but then-Attorney General Michael Carpenter called their actions that night “ill-conceived, poorly planned and hastily executed,” and said he would have fired them had they been in his employ. The killing prompted Maine law enforcement agencies to increase officer training and put new policies in place for high-risk situations.