Police: Parking ticket leads to assault on officer
HAVERHILL, Mass. (WHDH) -- What began as a parking ticket turned into assault charges after the alleged offender attacked the officer who attempted to give him a ticket.
Haverhill police said a car was blocking a driveway, which typically warrants a $25 parking ticket. Instead, the driver is facing charges including assault on a police officer.
“I’m getting all these charges when I never hit him. All I tried to do was hold him from hitting me,” said the suspect.
On Tuesday, an officer got a call about a car blocking a driveway on German Street in Haverhill, according to investigators. When the officer arrived, the driver who had been watching a baseball game across the street, turned up too. Police said when the officer started writing the ticket the driver tried to take off.
“There was a car in front, behind me here, he was beside me, and the house was on the other side so where could I take off?” said the suspect.
Investigators said the man was so unruly the officer tried to punch him to get him under control, but the officer wound up in a choke hold, officials said.
“Anytime a police officer is assaulted it’s a serious case. We don’t want to see anybody get hurt and we don’t want to see any of our people get hurt, especially over something as minor as a parking ticket,” said Deputy Chief Donald Thompson of the Haverhill Police Department.
Haverhill police said there is no reason to believe the officer did anything other than what he was trained to do.
The police report says he never drew his gun and didn’t use pepper spray or his baton. In the report the officer wrote, “I was in fear of my safety if I continued to be choked I informed the defendant that if he did not let go of my neck I would shoot him.”
The driver said he was the one in danger.
“No I did not [strangle him]. I was holding him. I grabbed him to hold him because he had already hit me two or three times,” said the suspect.
The driver was arraigned on charges of assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. Prosecutors said the man’s record includes two previous convictions for assault on an officer.