A week after the reported assault near Millinocket, what appears to be red finger marks and a bruise near the eye of a local 18-year-old remain visible.
The teenager says he went with two friends to South Twin Lake to take a picture of Katahdin on July 6 when they encountered Richard LeVasseur, the owner of 5 Lakes Lodge.
"The circle is where we parked," said the driver, who asked not to be identified. "Obviously, that's his lodge right there. And we weren't even close to his lodge That's a road to other camps and we were just barely off of that."
"He came from behind here and just grabbed me," he added later.
The three friends had pulled off the camp road and were parked, the driver said, for about two minutes.
"He just choked me," the teen recalled. "He didn't say one word. He just walked up to the vehicle and put his hands on my neck to the point where I couldn't breathe."
His two friends thought it was a joke at first, but then LeVasseur began yelling. Finally, they figured out he was upset about his lawn. None had met LeVasseur before.
"I was like, 'I'm sorry. I didn't mean to park on your lawn. Just step away from the vehicle and I'll back up. I don't want any trouble,'" the teenager said, with relatives standing nearby.
The driver recently graduated with honors from Stearns High School, where he played sports and was on the National Honor Society. He said he pulled back onto the camp road to leave but was blocked by LeVasseur.
"I went to put it into first gear, and that is when he just clocked me. Right in the side of the face," the teen said.
He immediately reported the incident to local police, who referred the case to Maine State Police. Trooper Thomas Fiske charged LeVasseur with assault, a Class D crime, after interviewing him and the three friends.
LeVasseur has an Aug. 8 court date. Messages left for LeVasseur for comment were not immediately returned.
"If he would have just said, 'Hey, you are on my grass, can you get off?' It would have been as simple as that. We would have respected him and just got off and left," the teen said.