Man allegedly attacks 3 during wedding reception
LAWRENCE, Mass. (WHDH) -- An Iraq War veteran appeared in court Monday after spending his wedding reception night behind bars for allegedly attacking three people.
The suspect, 32-year-old Philip Brooks, was shackled and handcuffed after he was accused of an unprovoked attack against the trio at the North Andover VFW Hall Saturday night. One of them was a 79-year-old man.
Police said the Gloucester man was wrapping up his reception, went downstairs to the bar and attacked a husband and wife, breaking her glasses, then rushed the elderly man at the end of the bar
“This defendant comes up, other witnesses indicate he grabs him by the back of the head and slams his face onto the solid wood bar resulting in injuries,” said Kimberly Gillespie, prosecutor.
Brooks, a former medic with the National Guard, and his wife married five years ago but never threw a party until Saturday night because he shipped out.
Brooks’ attorney says he was the one that was hit and that everyone there had been drinking.
“From reading this report, it’s very clear that police tried to slant it entirely in one direction and that’s usually not what happens when alcohol is involved,” said Debra Del Vecchio, defense attorney.
Brooks' wife pensively sat in court and was protected by her father and mother.
The prosecution asked that Brooks be held for a dangerousness hearing, fearing he could attack again.
“There are no conditions that can ensure the safety of the community,” said Gillespie.
But the judge instead ordered the 32-year-old Iraqi vet be placed under house arrest and on an electronic bracelet.
Brooks’ attorney says he had a right to be in the bar and that he is the victim.
“What happened that night and exactly how many people went after my client, and who got hurt, including him, would be something that would be teased at a trial,” said Del Vecchio.
According to the police report, Brooks was crying and upset and said he was having “bad thoughts" and that it was the end for him when police went to see him in his cell.
Brooks will be allowed to go home after his electronic monitoring bracelet is set up, which will take a couple of days.