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Plymouth Police Department

Plymouth Police in the News

Plymouth Police Department received the designation of Accredited Police Department

The department started the review of its standards and policies few years ago.

The Plymouth Police Department received the designation of Accredited Police Department by a unanimous vote of the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission at the semi-annual meeting. We are now one of 90 Municipal and University Police Departments out of nearly 400 in the Commonwealth that has received this designation.

The department started the review of its standards and policies two years ago and has been working ever since to update procedures on critical areas of police management, operations and technical support

Achieving certification requires an on-site review of 159 standards set by the commission in areas such as policy development, emergency response planning, training, communications, property and evidence handling, use of force, vehicular pursuit, prisoner transportation and holding facilities. A team of commission-appointed assessors visited the department for the assessment in April.

Chief Michael Botieri appointed Lt. Dana Flynn to serve as the department’s accreditation manager two years ago. Botieri cited Flynn for his work on the certification process and thanked everyone in the department for their support and cooperation in earning certification.

“It shows we’re staying on the cutting edge of law enforcement professionalism in our procedures, rules and standards of operation,” Botieri said.

The process of accreditation continues with the review of more than 100 more standards set by the commission. The certification has been granted for a period of three years. Botieri said he expects the department to earn full accreditation from the commission next year.

 

RECENT NEWS

The following are links to items about the activities of the Plymouth Police Department that have appeared on a variety of news sources.

Links to News articles about the Plymouth Police Department. If you would like to see articles from past years click here.

October  2020

Police K-9 team tracked down a driver 

Christopher Silva, 41, of 23 Pine St., Auburndale, was charged with driving after suspension as a subsequent offense, leaving the scene of property damage, negligent driving and using a motor vehicle without authority. Silva was also arrested on warrants from Waltham District Court charging possession of a Class C drug and misdemeanor breaking and entering.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said Silva is accused of fleeing after he crashed a vehicle into the back of a parked car at 74 Sandwich St. shortly after 2 a.m. The State Police K-9 tam happened to be in the area, Manuel said, and immediately began searching for the driver. Silva was found nearby and placed in custody. Manuel said Silva was driving friend’s vehicle without permission.

September 2020

Video shows men breaking into Quincy College in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH – Police are reviewing security camera footage in hopes of identifying two burglars who broke into an office at Quincy College overnight Sunday.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said the school reported the break-in Monday morning. The burglars broke into an office and stole a laptop computer, a briefcase, backpack, power pack, chargers, adapters and a thumb drive. Manuel said a security camera videoed the men entering and exiting the school.

 

Police arrested a Marshfield man on drug charges

Evan Figueiredo, 42, of 19 Fox Run, #4, Marshfield, was charged with possession of a Class A substance, possession of a Class A substance with intent to distribute, possession of a Class B substance, possession of Class B substance with intent to distribute, possession of a Class C substance and possession of a Class C substance with intent to distribute.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said police stopped Figueiredo at 9:19 p.m. for having a bad inspection sticker and found him in possession of quantities of fentanyl, crystal meth and pills. All six of the charges were subsequent offenses. Figueiredo had been arrested on each in 2017 as well.

 

Manomet teen faces motor vehicle charges after crashing into a neighbor’s home

Police said the 17-year-old boy lost control of his Mazda shortly after 5 p.m., while trying to turn from Truman Avenue onto Kennedy Drive. Capt. Kevin Manuel said the teen crashed through a stop sign and into a house on the other side of the intersection.

The impact knocked a door off its frame, but there was no serious structural damage and no injuries were reported.

Manuel said the teen told police he lost control because he was wearing a brace on his hand and had difficulty steering. Police charged the boy with impeded driving, failure to stop for an intersection and speeding.

 

Plymouth Rock has once again been vandalized.

For the second time in less than two weeks, someone has defaced the landmark on the local waterfront. This time, the vandal struck in front of witnesses and claimed it was her “civic duty.”

Police said the woman squirted the contents of a small tube onto the Rock after approaching the portico on Water Street with a group of young people.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said the woman told witnesses that the group was “there to deface Plymouth Rock as their civic duty.” He said the woman squirted a white substance that was thicker than paint onto the Rock. Chief Michael Botieri said the substance was likely hand lotion or sunscreen. It washed away with the tide.The woman was with two other women and two men. All were in their late teens or 20s.

Botieri said police have photographs of people in the groups and are trying to identify them. The damage was barely visible in a photograph taken by police.

The damage was much more visible when someone poured white paint onto the landmark in the early hours of Sept. 4. Plymouth Rock has been a target for vandals for years. In February, it was one of several local landmarks defaced in an overnight spree along the downtown area and waterfront. A 17-year-old local high school student was charged in connection with that vandalism.

 

Even back-to-school shopping has a hybrid option.

Local police treated a group of middle and high school students to a back-to-school shopping spree once again last week. But this year’s sixth annual Shop with a Cop event included some accommodations for the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief Michael Botieri and the department’s four school resource officers took three students from each of the town’s middle and high schools to Old Navy to buy new clothing, but they did it in cohorts. Half of the students shopped on Thursday. The other half shopped on Friday.

The department has hosted the Shop with a Cop event every summer since 2015. The program takes deserving students on a shopping spree and outfits them with supplies for the school year.

As in past years, Eastern Bank donated backpacks for each of the students, and Walmart filled them with school supplies.

The sprees are usually held at Old Navy and Dick’s Sporting Goods, but because of the pandemic, Dick’s gave the students gift certificates this year.

The students went into Old Navy, but adhered to strict health guidelines, wearing masks and keeping socially distanced while shopping.

Old Navy gave the students steep discounts and vouchers for merchandise. The Plymouth Police Relief Association matched the offer, allowing students to purchase new wardrobes for the school year.

The event traditionally ends with a pizza party at police headquarters, courtesy of Plymouth House of Pizza. This year, every student took a pizza from the restaurant home.

The event introduced two new school resource officers. Officer Shawn Ireland is taking over as the SRO at Plymouth North High School and Officer Travis Eliason is the new SRO at Plymouth South Middle School.

Officers Jay Lopes and Jim Keegan return as resource officers at Plymouth South High School and Plymouth Community Intermediate School, respectively.

SSCAC to host ‘Stuff a Cruiser’ event

PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth Rotary Sunrise Club together with the Plymouth Police Department will host a “Stuff a Cruiser” food drive for the South Shore Community Action Council from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 26 at Walmart Superstore, 300 Colony Place Road.

Residents can donate pre-packed food or make monetary donations.

For more information, contact howard.kendall@comcast.net.

Flirtation turns to fraud
Police received a report of fraud Friday morning from a 25-year-old man who said he flirted with a young woman on Facebook and, at her behest, exposed himself to her during a FaceTime chat. The woman, in turn, exposed her breasts to him, according to his story. The woman allegedly contacted him later, when she informed him that she had filmed him and planned to post the video on Youtube if he didn’t wire her gift cards in the amount of $250 and $500. The man complied with the demands, and then contacted police, who said the incident is under investigation.

 Police arrested a North Plymouth man on drug charges

Craig Sears, 37, of 303 Court St., Apt. 2C, was arrested after the 1:11 p.m. search on charges of possession of a Class A drug (fentanyl) with intent to distribute, possession of a Class C drug (Alprazolam) with intent to distribute, possession a Class E drug (Gabapentin), and two counts each of possession of a Class B drug (Buprenorphine and Amphetamine) and a Class C drug (Lorazepam and Clonazepam). All but the Gabapentin possession charge were subsequent offenses.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said the search was the result of an ongoing investigation by the police department’s narcotics division. Officers found more than 4 grams of fentanyl and an assortment of pills during the search. Sears was arrested at the scene.

Police accused a Sagamore woman of drunken driving

Capt. Kevin Manuel said the 36-year-old woman drove over a concrete block and into the front of the Dunkin’ at 164 South St. shortly before 5 p.m. Manuel said the woman suffered injuries when the airbag of her vehicle deployed. She was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Manuel said an investigation determined the woman was intoxicated. She will be issued a summons to appear in court on charges of negligent driving and driving under the influence of alcohol. The building was not damaged and nobody inside was hurt.

 

For the second time police have arrested a local man on charges of possession of drugs

Joseph Carreira, 26, of 38 Stafford St., was arrested Monday on charges of possession of a Class A drug (heroin), possession of a Class A drug (heroin) with intent to distribute, possession of a Class C drug (Clonazepam), possession of a Class C drug (Clonazepam) with intent to distribute and possession of a Class D drug (marijuana).

Capt. Kevin Manuel said members of the street crimes squad arrested Carreira on a warrant from Hingham District Court after spotting him riding in a vehicle on Water Street just before 8 p.m. Monday.

Manuel said the officers investigated after seeing Carreira trying to hide something under his seat and in his mouth and found him in possession of heroin, Clonazepam pills and more than an ounce of marijuana.

The same officers arrested Carreira on similar charges after stopping him for driving after suspension last Wednesday. Then, he was charged with possession of heroin, Clonazepam and Alprazolam, another Class C drug, with intent to distribute, after officers found drugs in his vehicle.

August 2020

Plymouth police  offering online appointment scheduling for new firearms license applicants. 

By visiting the firearms page on the Plymouth Police Department website at https://plymouthpolice.com/, applicants will find a link to the state’s Firearm Forms and Applications page, where they can download LTC/FID application forms, LTC/FID change-of-address forms and firearms transfer forms and get answers to the most frequent questions regarding firearms licensing and restrictions.

Firearms licensing information will be available for both new and renewal applicants.

Prior to setting up an appointment, new applicants must have completed and passed a certified firearms safety course and downloaded and completed the application. Applicants should schedule appointments by clicking on the link to the calendar.

Bring the completed application, a safety course certificate (not required for active duty military), a check or money order for $100 made payable to “The Town of Plymouth” (no cash or credit cards) and a driver’s license/photo ID to the appointment.

Appointments are not necessary for renewals, but renewal applicants must complete the state’s License to Carry (LTC)/Firearms Identification Card (FID) renewal application, including the affidavit, which is located on page 4 of the application.

Mail renewal applications along with the $100 filing fee to Plymouth Police Department, Firearms Licensing, 20 Long Pond Road, Plymouth, MA 02360. A mailed receipt will act as a license until the new card is received.

Direct questions to the department’s firearms licensing division at 508-830-4218 ext. 222.

Motorcycle Crash on Davis Curve

PLYMOUTH – A motorcyclist from California was taken to South Shore Hospital for treatment of injuries Monday after a crash involving a car at Davis Curve on State Road.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said the 70-year-old man, a resident of Lake Port, California, was traveling north and had just crossed the Pine Hills when he collided with a southbound car driven by a 42-year-old local woman.

The woman told police she came around the curve at the base of the hill and found the motorcycle coming toward her in her lane. She said she swerved to avoid a collision, but the motorcycle glanced off the side of her car.

The motorcyclist was conscious and alert, talking to people when first responders arrived. He was taken to South Shore Hospital for treatment. The woman was not injured.

 

Carver man  airlifted to a Boston hospital  after a skateboard accident 

Police said the 24-year-old man was riding on an electric skateboard when he fell backward and hit his head on the road. The man had been riding down the hill from Manomet Point toward the beach when the crash occurred just after 5 p.m. near 201 Manomet Point Road.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said a 39-year-old local man was also riding a skateboard down the hill at the time, but the two men did not collide. The victim was not wearing a helmet. He fell from his skateboard just after passing the other skateboader, Manuel said.

The victim was knocked unconscious. He was taken by MedFlight helicopter to Boston Medical Center. His current condition is unknown, but he was reported to be conscious and alert on arrival at the hospital in Boston.

 

Police are investigating after a Manomet woman received an apparent threat for displaying a Black Lives Matter sign in her yard.

PLYMOUTH – Police are investigating after a Manomet woman received an apparent threat for displaying a Black Lives Matter sign in her yard.

Kendra Maksy had been displaying the sign on her lawn on State Road for a couple of months when someone ripped it in half overnight last Tuesday.

Maksy immediately replaced it, only to find the new sign cut in two Friday morning. At the same time, Maksy found an alarming letter in her mailbox.

On the front of the envelope, someone with poor spelling skills wrote that “Black Lives Do NOT Matter in Manomet” and asked “Please: NO NEGOES in OUR WONDEFUL PREDOMINATELY WHITE NEIBORHOOD.”

Inside, on a single sheet of white lined paper, was a racist missive that called Blacks moving to Manomet the writer’s worst nightmare. The writer noted seeing Maksy replace the originally damaged sign and begged her to stop with the Black Lives Matter “stuff.”

It ended with a postscript that Maksy took as a threat: “I saw your two kids playing in the driveway.”

Maksy, a local school teacher, was outraged and shared her disgust with friends as well as members of the town’s No Place for Hate Committee, which held a special meeting via Zoom over the weekend to offer their support.

Vedna Heywood, chairman of the No Place for Hate Committee, said she is aware of many instances in which people have had Black Lives Matter signs vandalized or stolen. But this case escalated to something more serious.

Heywood said the Committee wanted to assure Maksy that the community stands behind her and her family, and issued a statement denouncing the incident.

“Our country has faced far too many moments of racial and social injustice, and no one should live in fear of what they believe. Knowing that people live in fear in Plymouth because of what they look like, how they identify, who they love, or what they believe in is unacceptable. We are a NO PLACE FOR HATE community. We do not condone hateful or racially motivated acts. Vandalism, harassment and racially motivated threats have no place in this community,” the statement continued.

Patrick Flaherty, the Select Board’s liaison to the Committee, attended the meeting and shared his outrage. Flaherty noted that the Select Board recently pledged to embrace diversity as one of the town’s guiding principles.

“This is not our community. It’s not welcome here. We’re a safe and welcoming community,” Flaherty said. “That is just not what this community is about.”

Police have been tight-lipped out the case. Capt. Kevin Manuel said an investigation is ongoing and police have a person of interest. Maksy, who is not a person of color, said a neighbor of hers who is a person of color, came forward to report getting a similar letter in the past.

Maksy said it is important that people know that this kind of thing can happen in their community and that the community’s response is what’s most important. In this case, there was an immediate and overwhelming show of support as word spread about the signs and letter on social media over the weekend.

“When something like this happens, it’s not just me or my family that’s the victim. It happens to the entire community and I feel the entire community is horrified by what happened and is coming together and saying we’re not going to tolerate this,” Maksy said.

“I want the community to know that this happened. It didn’t just happen to me or my family. It happened to the community, and we’re going to come together as a town and denounce this type of hate.”

Maksy said many people offered to replace the sign and one woman donated a security camera to protect the property. Maksy replaced the sign over the weekend, and it hasn’t been touched since.

Police are cautioning residents to be on the alert for a scam involving a bogus job offer.

 

Plymouth police warn of scammers

PLYMOUTH – Police are cautioning residents to be on the alert for a scam involving a bogus job offer.

A Hallick Road woman reported that she had responded to an email from an alleged pharmaceutical company asking her if she would like to become a sales representative. The company sent her a check, which was supposed to cover a week of work and the cost of having her vehicle lettered with the company’s logo. She deposited the check, and then followed instructions, transferring money out of her account to a specific address for the supposed lettering. The check bounced, and she discovered that the entire offer was fraudulent and that the money she’d transferred (her own money, because the check bounced) had been stolen.

While the scam is under investigation, police caution that this type of fraud is typically an overseas operation and hard to bust.
Spikes Injure Dirt Biker
PLYMOUTH – Assault and battery with a dangerous weapon charges could be forthcoming if police can identify who partially buried spikes along the high tension power lines off Long Pond Road, allegedly to thwart dirt bikers.

The spikes were discovered Thursday.

Police say a Plymouth man driving an all-terrain vehicle along the power lines off Long Pond Road Thursday evening came upon metal spikes that someone had buried in the ground, with their points sticking up.

A man, who asked not to be identified, said he was hiking in the area, not riding an ATV, when he saw a dirt bike rider thrown from his bike when it passed over this area and his tire blew out.

The dirt bike rider was not seriously injured, apparently.

The man claims he notified the Environmental Police of the incident and revisited the area with his father later that same evening to dig up the dangerous spikes with a shovel, when a neighbor whose property abuts the power lines yelled at him to stop digging them up. Police were notified and called to the scene. The man said the neighbor specifically told him and his father not to dig up the spikes.

Captain Kevin Manuel said the man in question was riding his ATV when he came upon the spikes, not hiking, and the neighbor said he never left his porch when he yelled at them to stop what they were doing. According to Manuel, the neighbor told police he had no idea what the two men were doing out there digging at night and thought they were on his property. Manuel said the man told police he did not put the spikes in the ground.

The witness said there were 10 of these sharp metal spikes, two of them large, buried so that someone on an ATV or dirt bike would have an accident and crash. He said he’s particularly concerned because the spikes could kill someone by causing such a crash, or severely injure a horse, since horseback riders frequent the area as well.

Dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicle activity along the power lines and on bog roads and wooded trails meant for hiking only have long plagued a number of Plymouth residents. Calls to police do little good, usually, because, by the time law enforcement arrives, the bikers are long gone. Stories of fishing line drawn across trails have surfaced of late, as some residents take matters into their own hands to stop the activity because other measures have failed.

Manuel was clear, however, that this type of aggressive action against dirt bikers and ATV drivers is criminal, because it could seriously injure someone. If someone gets caught doing such a thing, charges are likely to follow, he added.

 

July 2020

Neighbor Accused of Spraying Disinfectant on Clothes.

PLYMOUTH – Police will charge a local man who went into a clothing store in North Plymouth Tuesday and sprayed a disinfecting solution on garments.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said the 68-year-old man, a neighbor of the store, told police he was spraying a mixture of water and rubbing alcohol into the air because he felt the clothing, imported from Brazil, was not properly disinfected.

Surveillance footage showed the man spraying the solution directly on clothing, Manuel said. The store owner told police the man damaged at least 18 garments, causing approximately $1,100 in damages.

Police issued a summons for the man to appear in court on a misdemeanor charge of wanton destruction of property.

Plymouth police ready to enforce the law on White Horse Beach

PLYMOUTH – The long arm of the law is about to descend on White Horse Beach. The Select Board authorized police overtime and extra patrols Tuesday to control disturbances and parking issues along the troubled shoreline.

“People here have had enough abuse,” Alice Baker, a resident and member of the White Horse Beach Parking Committee, told the board. “We’ve never had it as bad as it has been this year. We need help and we need it now.”

A steady increase in drunkenness, rowdiness, verbal abuse, congested streets, illegal parking, trespassing, litter and public urination are just a few of the problems the neighborhood has witnessed in the past few years. Residents complained that the beach in South Plymouth, which has little public parking, has become popular with young people from out of town who just want to have fun and don’t care how that impacts others.

“They have a blatant disrespect for the law,” said Christine Bostek, chair of the parking committee. “There is a lot of drinking going on. Some will open other people’s coolers and take whatever they want. Enforcement is the only way to stop this.”

Added Select Board member Betty Cavacco, who lives in the village, “White Horse Beach is seen as the fun beach. Most of the problems are caused by people from out of town who just want to party.”

Police Chief Michael Botieri told the Select Board he has stepped up patrols on the beach and has officers writing tickets and getting cars towed when they block driveways or present traffic hazards. So his department can crack down on problems during the weekends and other key times, he requested additional funding, which was approved.

“I’m confident we can make a big difference,” he said. “Things will change in the next two weeks.”

Botieri said his department is working with Park Plymouth to have officers trained on the new handheld ticketing devices used by the meter patrol. He said the units produce tickets more quickly and also take a photo of the illegally parked vehicle for use as evidence.

A few Select Board members stated they had visited White Horse Beach last weekend to get a firsthand look at the problem. Shelagh Joyce was at the beach on both Saturday and Sunday.

“It was crazy crowded,” she said. “There was no social distancing at all. People were playing Frisbee, volleyball and drinking without even trying to hide it. It was so crowded on Sunday, it was embarrassing.”

She added, “It’s phenomenal in a bad, bad way. We may have to close the beach down if we don’t make big changes there.”

To help with the enforcement effort, Plymouth is installing permanent no-parking signs along streets throughout the White Horse Beach area. The Department of Public Works is producing the signage for installation, which is expected to begin this week.

“We have hundreds of signs that will be going up,” Town Manager Melissa Arrighi said. “We want to get this up and running.”

On Tuesday, the Select Board voted unanimously to add the village to the town’s beach parking program. Under the proposal, only Plymouth residents would be allowed to park in the new White Horse Beach parking district, which stretches from Gellar’s Snack Bar on State Road to Manomet Point Road and out to Stage Point Road.

To park in the district from Memorial Day to Labor Day, residents would have to purchase a beach parking sticker, which cost $50 ($25 for seniors) while 4×4 stickers are $70 ($45 for seniors). Final regulations for the new parking district will need to be presented at a public hearing so people have the opportunity to comment.

“The devil is in the details,” Select Board Chair Ken Tavares said. “There is a lot of work to be done yet. We have to fill in all the blanks before the public hearing.”

A date has not been set yet for that hearing.

South Plymouth resident Accused of embezzling money

PLYMOUTH – Police have accused a former South Plymouth resident of embezzling money from his neighborhood association.

Konstantinos Rigas, 48, of 1805 Service Road, West Barnstable, was arrested Tuesday on a warrant charging him with embezzlement, money laundering and larceny of more than $1,200.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said Rigas is accused of stealing almost $200,000 from the Ponds of Plymouth Recreational Foundation, a trust that pays for street lights, entrance maintenance, recreational programs and scholarships for the residential development.

Manuel said Rigas was the foundation’s treasurer and lone trustee from 2008 until last year, when four more people were elected to the board. Manuel said police launched an investigation after the new trustees examined the foundation’s financial accounts and noticed irregularities.

Six Injured in Samoset Street Head On Car -Truck Crash 

PLYMOUTH – A car collided head-on with a truck on Samoset Street Wednesday afternoon, sending six people to the hospital, three with serious injuries.

At 2:52 p.m. Wednesday, police say a 33-year-old Fall River man was behind the wheel of his Nissan sedan, speeding and weaving in and out of traffic when he collided with a F150 Ford pickup truck attempting to make a left turn into the McDonald’s restaurant on Samoset Street, according to witnesses.

Police say a 67-year-old Plymouth resident was behind the wheel of the truck. He and his two passengers were taken by ambulance to BID-Plymouth with possible injuries. The driver of the Nissan suffered a compound fracture of the leg, and he was taken via ambulance to South Shore Hospital. His two passengers were taken to BID-Plymouth for possible head injuries.

Both cars sustained serious damage and had to be towed from the scene, according to the police.

Police say the Fall River man will be cited.

 

Plymouth police ready to enforce the law on White Horse Beach

PLYMOUTH – The long arm of the law is about to descend on White Horse Beach. The Select Board authorized police overtime and extra patrols Tuesday to control disturbances and parking issues along the troubled shoreline.

“People here have had enough abuse,” Alice Baker, a resident and member of the White Horse Beach Parking Committee, told the board. “We’ve never had it as bad as it has been this year. We need help and we need it now.”

A steady increase in drunkenness, rowdiness, verbal abuse, congested streets, illegal parking, trespassing, litter and public urination are just a few of the problems the neighborhood has witnessed in the past few years. Residents complained that the beach in South Plymouth, which has little public parking, has become popular with young people from out of town who just want to have fun and don’t care how that impacts others.

“They have a blatant disrespect for the law,” said Christine Bostek, chair of the parking committee. “There is a lot of drinking going on. Some will open other people’s coolers and take whatever they want. Enforcement is the only way to stop this.”

Added Select Board member Betty Cavacco, who lives in the village, “White Horse Beach is seen as the fun beach. Most of the problems are caused by people from out of town who just want to party.”

Police Chief Michael Botieri told the Select Board he has stepped up patrols on the beach and has officers writing tickets and getting cars towed when they block driveways or present traffic hazards. So his department can crack down on problems during the weekends and other key times, he requested additional funding, which was approved.

“I’m confident we can make a big difference,” he said. “Things will change in the next two weeks.”

Botieri said his department is working with Park Plymouth to have officers trained on the new handheld ticketing devices used by the meter patrol. He said the units produce tickets more quickly and also take a photo of the illegally parked vehicle for use as evidence.

A few Select Board members stated they had visited White Horse Beach last weekend to get a firsthand look at the problem. Shelagh Joyce was at the beach on both Saturday and Sunday.

“It was crazy crowded,” she said. “There was no social distancing at all. People were playing Frisbee, volleyball and drinking without even trying to hide it. It was so crowded on Sunday, it was embarrassing.”

She added, “It’s phenomenal in a bad, bad way. We may have to close the beach down if we don’t make big changes there.”

To help with the enforcement effort, Plymouth is installing permanent no-parking signs along streets throughout the White Horse Beach area. The Department of Public Works is producing the signage for installation, which is expected to begin this week.

“We have hundreds of signs that will be going up,” Town Manager Melissa Arrighi said. “We want to get this up and running.”

On Tuesday, the Select Board voted unanimously to add the village to the town’s beach parking program. Under the proposal, only Plymouth residents would be allowed to park in the new White Horse Beach parking district, which stretches from Gellar’s Snack Bar on State Road to Manomet Point Road and out to Stage Point Road.

To park in the district from Memorial Day to Labor Day, residents would have to purchase a beach parking sticker, which cost $50 ($25 for seniors) while 4×4 stickers are $70 ($45 for seniors). Final regulations for the new parking district will need to be presented at a public hearing so people have the opportunity to comment.

“The devil is in the details,” Select Board Chair Ken Tavares said. “There is a lot of work to be done yet. We have to fill in all the blanks before the public hearing.”

A date has not been set yet for that hearing.

Four new police officers in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH – Four new police officers recently joined the Plymouth Police Department.

Officers Dillon Mansfield, Eric Mitchell, Micaela Fraccalossi and Joshua Kierstead graduated from the Plymouth Police Academy June 19 and have been participating in orientation sessions at police headquarters.

The new officers will be teamed with field training officers later this week. The new officers bring the number of sworn officers in the department to 123.

 

Bourne man charged after face mask disturbance at Plymouth restaurant

PLYMOUTH – Police have arrested a Bourne man on threatening and assault charges after a disturbance about wearing face masks at a Cedarville restaurant.

Edward McGuire, 59, of 52 Savery Ave., Bourne, turned himself in to police Tuesday, the day after the incident at the British Beer Company on State Road.

McGuire is accused of coughing in the faces of two female customers of the restaurant and saying he hoped they get Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. He also is accused of driving dangerously in the restaurant parking lot, threatening the safety of people dining outdoors.

The incident occurred Monday night after employees of the restaurant asked McGuire to wear a face mask.

McGuire had been walking back and forth and in and out of the restaurant and workers asked him to wear a mask if he continued to do so.

Workers told police that McGuire started yelling and screaming at the employees and went up to two women and coughed on them, saying he hoped they got sick. He then allegedly got in his vehicle and drove in circle around the parking lot, scaring outdoor diners.

At least one person recorded some of the incident on a cellphone and posted it on social media.

The manager of the restaurant called police to report the incident Tuesday morning. McGuire turned himself into police at noon Tuesday. He was charged with two counts each of assault, threatening to commit a crime (murder) and threatening to bomb or hijack and single counts of negligent driving and disturbing the peace as a subsequent offense.

Police Capt. Kevin Manuel said the charges of threatening to bomb or hijack are for coughing on the women, as section of the law relates to the use of substances capable of causing injury or death. Manuel said police have no knowledge that McGuire has the virus. McGuire was released on bail later Tuesday.

 

June 2020

Plymouth police file charges for fireworks possession

PLYMOUTH – Police are getting tough with people setting off fireworks in the run up to the Fourth of July.

In response to complaints about fireworks in the Ponds of Plymouth, police had an officer patrol the neighborhood Friday night. Capt. Kevin Manuel said the officer witnessed people setting off fireworks at two different residences.

Both residents – a 62-year-old man from Raymond Road and a 45-year-old man from Dickson Drive – were issued summonses to both to appear in court on charges of possession of unlawful fireworks and disturbing the peace.

Police charged a 41-year-old Taunton man with possession of unlawful fireworks after witnessing him setting off fireworks on Water Street Monday night.

Man to face animal cruelty charge for leaving dog in vehicle in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH – Police will charge a Hanover man with animal cruelty for leaving his dog in a hot vehicle while at a downtown bar Sunday.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said police got a call that a Portuguese water dog had been in a vehicle in a parking lot on Water Street for an hour Sunday evening.

Manuel said the weather was hot and humid and the windows of the vehicle were completely rolled up. Manuel said the owner of the dog came out of a nearby bar and appeared indifferent about the situation. The 55-year-old man was allowed to take the dog with him, but police will issue him a summons to appear in court on a charge of animal cruelty.

 

Calls to defund Plymouth’s police/school partnerships rejected

PLYMOUTH – The movement to defund police departments has reached Plymouth.

In the wake of protests for the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in May, local school officials have received two requests to end its school resource officer program.

The School Committee acknowledged and discussed the letters at its meeting Monday, but unanimously expressed support for their partnership with local police in all levels of school.

The district received letters from a former resident and recent graduate as well as a current resident shortly after Floyd died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The school board in Minneapolis, as well as committees in some other large cities across the country, has voted to defund its school resource officer program as a result.

The letters to local school officials were brief and contained similar text. They said they were “writing in the interest of the students of Plymouth Public Schools’ mental and physical safety.” They asked the School Committee “in the same interest” to terminate their contract with local police and remove resource officers from schools.

The district and local police have a decade-old agreement to share the cost of placing resource officers in local schools. The officers are based in the town’s two high schools and two middle schools, and the officers are available to cover elementary schools as well.

The Committee addressed the letters Monday night, thanking the writers for their interest in the district but saying the program works well in Plymouth and should not be eliminated.

“I think it’s very good for children to get to know a policeman on a personal level and as somebody who goes to their events and really gets to know them. I think it’s a very positive move,” Committee Member Margie Burgess said

The School Committee includes two members of the town’s No Place for Hate Committee – Michelle Badger and Vedna Heywood.

Badger said that in safety committee meetings, police as well as firefighters, have always been thoughtful and engaged and interested in helping students and the administration.

“I’m not saying every school district in every town has the relationship we have, but we are lucky that we have a police chief and a Fire Department that are caring for our students and the benefit of the whole community,” Badger said.

Heywood noted that one of the first people she reached out to after Floyd’s death was Police Chief Michael Botieri because of the relationship he has developed with local schools.

“I grew up with resource officers in my school, so I’ve never not known that, and, especially when living in a time where that environment has become a little more precarious and dangerous for our students, that is not an initiative that I back, and I don’t think that’s an initiative we should back,” she said.

Heywood noted that the school district started a diversity committee earlier this year, before Floyd’s death. “I’m proud to live in a town that actually has a committee that’s in place as well,” she said.

School Committee Chairman James Sorensen acknowledged he was opposed to the concept of resource officers when the proposal was first suggested two decades ago. But he said he has seen the program become an asset, not only for staff, but students.

He said he has seen students with problems seek out resource officers for solutions, and he would strongly support it in the future.

Committee Members Robert Morgan and Kim Savery suggested that people might not understand the positive nature of the relationship between local police and schools.

“I know there are things going on, an anti-police sentiment, in some places, but we have a good relationship that goes back years, and I see no reason to change that at this time,” Morgan said.

“I don’t think people understand the relationship with law enforcement here,” Savery said.

Supt. Gary Maestas said the program grew out of the safety committee he developed after becoming superintendent 12 years ago and helped develop a community of care and respect that includes the different backgrounds and diversity and changing dynamics of Plymouth.

Maestas said that the coronavirus emergency will eventually be resolved; acceptance and diversity is a bigger problem facing society and schools offer the best place to effect change.

“I think the school system is prime for that type of work. I think that is going to be a prime feature of our strategic plan and diversity committee, but I will tell you that the police department is at the center of that,” he said.

Defunding the program is exactly the opposite of what the community needs, Botieri said, but might happen nonetheless if the department is forced to make cuts because of funding shortfalls associated with the health emergency.

He said the police work with administrators to select officers who are best suited for the job and that those who work in schools become a part of the school culture. They attend school events and functions to provide support and safety and are always available to help students in need.

He has seen video of resource officers having violent confrontation with students in some other communities, Botieri said, but insisted that his officers are trained to de-escalate tensions in school. The policies, he said, reflect the department’s status as a fully accredited force that is constantly updating procedures to stay in line with best practices nationwide.

“We have a strong program,” he said. “Our four officers are entrenched in the schools and part of their administration, and I would hate to see that affected in any way.”

 

Body found in Plymouth waterfront car fire

A body was discovered early Saturday morning on the Plymouth waterfront in a car that was engulfed in flames.

Plymouth Police say the body was that of a 70-year-old man from central Massachusetts.

“We are continuing to gather information but do no suspect any foul play at all,” Chief Michael Botieri said.

The Fire Department crew departed the scene shortly before 7 a.m.

“My crew just left the scene with PPD’s detective and an investigator from the state fire marshal’s office,” Fire Chief Ed Bradley said in a statement. “We got a 911 call at 2:21 a.m. reporting a car fire in a parking lot on Water Street. On arrival the car was fully engulfed in flames. As the crew began knocking down the fire, they saw a body in the car. They notified PPD, who were on scene.”

Police had responded to the fire in a parking lot just north of East Bay Grille, Botieri said.  Plymouth Police are investigating the incident with State Police.

 

Plymouth police chief and NPFH chair on rescheduled vigil

PLYMOUTH – Residents and supporters who were eager to participate in a Peaceful Community Vigil planned for Wednesday evening at Brewster Gardens were surprised Tuesday when it was canceled and rescheduled as a virtual Zoom event with PACTV.

In the wee hours of a Tuesday morning deadline, the announcement of the event was shared on the Old Colony Memorial’s Facebook feed as a last-minute news item only to discover shortly thereafter that the event had been rescheduled.

The subsequent post drew fire from some, as those planning to attend wanted answers as to why it was rescheduled. The post noted it was canceled because of safety concerns.

The Plymouth No Place for Hate Committee event was sponsored by Plymouth No Place for Hate Committee, the Plymouth Police Department, the Plymouth Area League of Women Voters and the Plymouth Area Interfaith Clergy Alliance.

Contrary to what some assumed, Police Chief Michael Botieri said he did not cancel the event. Information he received through police agencies indicated the possibility of a group of agitators descending on the peaceful gathering Wednesday night. These agitators have been targeting other gatherings as well, and vandalizing property and stealing from businesses.

In addition, he said he received calls from dozens of downtown businesses and residents who expressed fear and concern that their homes and businesses could be targeted by vandals, as has occurred in cities nationwide this week with these types of gatherings. He contacted Plymouth No Place for Hate Chair Barbara Aharoni and informed her of the new information he had just received.

He said that Aharoni was concerned for the safety of the individuals at the gathering and other peaceful spectators, as well as for businesses and residents, and decided the event should be moved to a different, safer venue, and Botieri agreed with her decision. Botieri noted that he and his department do not have the authority to cancel such an event; he was sharing information.

Botieri stressed that he supported this gathering wholeheartedly and plans to speak at the virtual one. Along with many other chiefs nationwide, he expressed his determination to help this cause any way that he can.

“On behalf of the proud members of the Plymouth Police Department, we stand firm with the law enforcement professionals across the Commonwealth and nation in strongly denouncing the egregious actions taken by the four officers in Minneapolis, whether by action or inaction, resulting in the death of George Floyd. These types of incidents are in no way indicative of the professional policing that is displayed on our streets each and every day. Our heartfelt sympathy and deepest condolences go out to the Floyd family. We all must learn from this tragedy so that it never happens again.”

Previously, Aharoni had spoken to Botieri about the possibility of a vigil, she said, and he had himself recommended Brewster Gardens, before he learned that agitators might target the gathering.

“The actions of those officers tears at the core of our profession,” Botieri added. “There is no defending that. I was happy to see those officers were terminated right away and hopeful the prosecution will move forward. We need a system of tracking officers better.”

He noted that any officers expressing racial injustice or inappropriate use of force should be terminated. Any officers who harbor racist ideas should turn in their badges, he added.

Officers need to be carefully vetted to ensure that the best people are being hired for the job, Botieri said, and clearly, there are some bad apples in the profession who feel they are not accountable.

Botieri said he’s been fostering a strong and positive relationship with the community for 35 years.

“You can always do better, although there are some challenges with civil service,” he said. “But they’re not insurmountable.”

The remote vigil will be hosted by PACTV beginning at 6:30 p.m. It will be live on Comcast 13 or Verizon 43 and will also be streamed live on PACTV’s Facebook page.

 

Plymouth police chief announces PHS graduation street closures

PLYMOUTH — Plymouth police chief Michael Botieri announced that the Plymouth North and South High Schools’ graduation ceremonies will be held on June 6 on the waterfront and Water Street will be closed with no parking between Brewster and Union streets.

North Street will be closed at Carver and Winslow streets beginning at 3 a.m. These streets will remain closed until 6 p.m. unless needs or conditions dictate otherwise.

Stephen’s Field will be closed to all vehicles beginning at 3 a.m. and no public parking will be permitted at Nathaniel Morton Elementary School.

May 2020

Parking signs ordered at White Horse Beach in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH – Temporary no-parking signs are going up on streets around White Horse Beach. However, they won’t carry the force of law with them.

The Select Board ordered the Department of Public Works to post signage in the village with the hope of discouraging beach goers from parking along streets in the area. Member Betty Cavacco presented a series of motions for board approval with the goal of improving traffic flow during the start of the summer season.

“I’m hoping this will serve as a deterrent,” said Cavacco, who presented several motions. “Parking has been a problem here for years, and something needs to be done. Residents complain regularly that there is not enough parking in White Horse Beach.”

Cavacco said the problem occurs when visitors want to use the beach and park throughout the village and along side streets, where most homeowners don’t have driveways. The congestion created by the influx of beach goers from out of town is a major traffic problem, she said.

However, both Town Manager Melissa Arrighi and Police Chief Michael Botieri wondered about the validity of the signs, as there are no town bylaws authorizing them.

“I’m worried this is not enforceable,” Arrighi said.

Botieri agreed.

“These parking signs will be difficult to enforce,” he said. “I don’t want to put my officers in a tough position by not being able to do anything.”

Select Board Chair Ken Tavares said the signs are only temporary and will be removed once the beach is officially opened June 20.

Man critical after stabbing at Stephens Field in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH – A local homeless man was critically injured early Thursday in a stabbing at Stephens Field.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said the 21-year-old man was stabbed multiple times while sitting in the passenger seat of a vehicle at the waterfront park shortly after midnight. Manuel said police were notified about the stabbing at 12:20 a.m., after the other man drove the victim to BID-Plymouth hospital.

The victim, a homeless man who recently moved to Plymouth from out of state, was taken to a Boston hospital for treatment. He was in critical condition at the hospital late Thursday morning, Manuel said.

 

Plymouth Police looking for voluntary compliance as health restrictions ease

PLYMOUTH – The weekend complaint about karaoke singers was typical of the calls police have increasingly been responding to in the coronavirus emergency.

A caller told dispatchers that a large group was singing in a parking lot near the waterfront and not wearing any face coverings.

Police responded and found the group and they were not wearing masks. But in the presence of officers at least, the singers were staying more than six feet apart, which is within the statewide rules of being out in public during the health crisis.

According to Police Chief Michael Botieri, local officers are responding to more and more such complaints as residents emerge from isolation and start to congregate in public.

Speaking on the town’s daily COVID-9 update on PACTV last week, Botieri explained the rules concerning being out in public and the possible penalties for not adhering to them.

The statewide regulations as the stay-at-home coronavirus restrictions ease call for groups of 10 or more to maintain social distancing or wear face coverings if unable to do so.

Botieri said the rules apply to anyone over the age of 5, with exceptions for people with medical issues and children under 2, and include family members.

A larger issue for police is the reports about groups seen gathering at public places that have not been closed by the virus. The governor’s order allows for such groups in open spaces.

Botieri noted that police can issue citations with fines of up to $300 for people who do not adhere to the guidelines. To date, police have not issued any – a reflection on the department’s intention to have officers serve as educators more than enforcers in the health crisis. Botieri said the department stands ready to assist health officials in doing whatever it takes to keep the public safe, but will strive to explain the rules to people first.

Cruisers are now even equipped with masks that officers can distribute to people who say they cannot make or find one of their own.

“We’ve decided we’re going to do educating more than enforcing. Our primary goal is to educate people and we’ve gone to the point where we will provide masks.” Botieri said. “That’s how far we want to go to assist people. We’re looking for compliance, and we really think we’ll get that.”

 

 

Driver launches car into Plymouth Harbor while fleeing police

PLYMOUTH – A Plympton man tried to turn his car into a boat while fleeing police Wednesday.

The car sank in the harbor and he swam into custody.

Police needed Tasers to arrest Ryan Reilly, 39, of 24 Dukes Brook Way, Plympton, after the early morning drama that ended at the state boat ramp off Water Street.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said police received a call late Tuesday from police in Plympton reporting that Reilly had taken his mother’s new car and may be headed to a local motel. An officer spotted and stopped the car on Court Street in North Plymouth just before 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Manuel said Reilly sped off after the officer approached his vehicle. Another officer conducting another traffic stop at Court and Nelson streets saw the car speed south.

Manuel said police followed the car to the boat ramp, which Reilly used to launch the car about 50 yards into the harbor. He escaped out a window as the car sank and swam back to the ramp, where he attacked officers, Manuel said.

Reilly was taken to BID-Plymouth hospital for evaluation because of his exposure to the cold water. He was later released from the hospital and charged with failure to stop for police, negligent driving, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, using a motor vehicle without authority, trespassing with a motor vehicle, malicious damage to a motor vehicle and driving an unregistered vehicle as a habitual traffic offender.

The harbormaster marked the location of the submerged car, a blue 2020 Toyota Corolla, with a buoy after firefighters determined there were no other occupants. A towing company removed the vehicle from the water at low tide Wednesday morning.

Reilly was being held for arraignment Wednesday at police headquarters. Plymouth County Sheriff Joseph McDonald confirmed that Reilly had recently been released from the county jail.

McDonald said Reilly was serving time for a probation violation when the coronavirus emergency started in March. He petitioned for early release because of the health crisis and on March 31 a judge reduced his sentence to the 49 days he had served.

 

April 2020

 

Two fatal overdoses in 24 hours

PLYMOUTH – Two people died of apparent drug overdoses within 24 hours this week.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said a 27-year-old homeless man was found unresponsive at the apartment of an acquaintance at 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Police tried to resuscitate the man and administered Narcan without success. He was taken to BID-Plymouth hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Shortly before 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, a 39-year-old man was found unresponsive in a bath tub at another apartment.

Again, officers administered CPR and Narcan without success. The man was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Manuel said police are investigating both deaths as suspected fatal overdoses.

Manuel said drug activity dropped significantly after the governor closed schools and shut down much of the state in response to the coronavirus emergency in mid March.

In the last two weeks, police have responded to an increasing number of drug-related emergencies.

Until this week, first responders have been able to revive victims with CPR or Narcan. Manuel said this week’s fatal overdoses do not appear to be connected.

 

Face coverings, proper PPE disposal to be required in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH – Safety is a serious concern in the age of the coronavirus, and now it may become a legal requirement in Plymouth. The Board of Health has issued an order requiring everyone in Plymouth to take precautions when in public to protect others, including wearing facial coverings as well as properly disposing of personal protective equipment.

Though still to be approved by the Select Board, the order is scheduled to go into effect on Wednesday, April 29. It will require all people in Plymouth, including employees of essential businesses, to wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth when close to others, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This declaration gives Plymouth Police and Department of Public Health employees the power of enforcement if they witness violations. One provision of the order may include a $300 fine for the improper disposal of used facial coverings, gloves and other protective equipment.

Board of Health Chair Birgitta Kuehn appeared Thursday on Plymouth COVID-19 Daily Update on PACTV to clarify misconceptions about the order. An erroneous news report and postings on social media have stated the fine would be imposed on people not wearing facemasks.

“I’d like to clarify that the order does not go into effect until April 29 and that it does not impose a fine for not wearing a facial covering,” she told host Steve Triffletti. She added, “The Select Board will hear whether a fine will be imposed to those improperly disposing of mask and gloves and other PPE that may present a health hazard to others.”

Disposing of personal protective equipment has become an issue because of reports of people discarding soiled gloves and masks in store parking lots. The health board is concerned that the virus will be spread by people coming in contact with this material.

Town Manager Melissa Arrighi said Plymouth Police are ready to assist the Board of Health with enforcement. In her weekly report, she stated the department had observed at least two stores with no “measures in place to assist in keeping their patrons safe. These establishments were observed to have long lines of patrons for pick-up food orders and they were not encouraging social distancing in any way.” Police contacted the businesses, both of which stated they would make “appropriate modifications.”

Arrighi said the town would enforce the order by Gov. Charlie Baker prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people.

“The police department stands ready to assist the Board of Health with enforcement,” she said.

The Select Board will review the Board of Health order at its next meeting Tuesday, April 28.

First responders honored hospital workers.

PLYMOUTH – First responders honored hospital workers. Hospital workers honored first responders. And grateful residents honored them all.

In an overwhelming show of solidarity and support, workers on both sides of the medical front lines paid tribute to one another Thursday, with a drive-by parade of emergency personnel at BID-Plymouth hospital.

Dozens of police cruisers, sheriff’s vans, ambulances and fire engines rolled through the hospital campus just before shift change Thursday afternoon to show hospital workers their appreciation for their hard and dangerous work during the coronavirus emergency.

Hospital workers were ready with tributes of their own, greeting the first responders with their own homemade signs of thanks.

Firefighters in Plympton got the “First Responder Drive By” rolling by putting out a call to colleagues to honor hospital workers with a parade of vehicles.

Plympton Chief Steve Silva said he got the idea from the firefighters in Hanover, who organized a similar drive by at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth.

Silva has a daughter who works as a registered nurse in the emergency room at BID-Plymouth, so he know what hospital workers are going through.

“Any hospital, not just BI, so I thought, ‘Why can’t we do that here?’” Silva said.

Silva put out feelers to the hospital staff and local police and firefighters and the idea exploded. A dozen departments signed on immediately and many more sent vehicles and personnel Thursday. Some hospital workers climbed to the roof to watch. A Medflight helicopter hovered overhead.

The full parade then rolled through the hospital campus with lights flashing and sirens roaring, passing the helipad, front entrance and emergency room before exiting past the hospital’s new coronavirus testing site.

Hospital spokesman Chris Smalley said the parade was the perfect opportunity for the staff to show its appreciation for first responders. Scores of residents joined in, greeting the parade with an assortment of homemade signs of their own.

Silva said it is nice to be recognized, but that the hospital workers are the true heroes.

“We’re on the front lines, but our experience is totally different. They’ve had challenges and risen to it,” Silva said.

“We are a team, and this shows solidarity between the street side and the clinical side,” he said.

 

Easter Bunny visit offers joyous distraction for Plymouth residents 

PLYMOUTH – The coronavirus couldn’t keep the Easter Bunny from visiting friends in Plymouth on Sunday.

With the help of the Plymouth Police Department and the Plymouth Police Relief Association, the furry symbol of the holiday toured neighborhoods in every village in town Sunday morning and afternoon, bringing much-needed joy and happiness to adults and children already weeks into self-isolation.

Officer Alex South was the driving force behind the Easter parade, which started at police headquarters just after 8 a.m. and ended back at the station eight hours later – twice as long as originally expected.

Except for a short break in Cedarville at noon, South spent the entire eight hours standing in the armored vehicle’s turret, waving at children from inside her pointy-eared costume.

“She was a champ. It was a marathon,” Capt. Kevin Manuel said of South, who organized the parade with the help of fellow off-duty officers and the blessing of Police Chief Michael Botieri.

Botieri said the parade was aimed at brightening the lives of children celebrating the holiday as well as birthdays during the health emergency. He said he hoped it would provide some relief to young and old who have been stuck at home.

“I’m just happy we’re in a place where we can provide that to citizens, but the credit goes to the Relief Association,” he said.

The parade was supposed to run for four hours. It kicked off in downtown neighborhoods, then headed out to some of the more densely populated sections of West Plymouth. From there it traveled to North Plymouth, through downtown, into White horse Beach and Manomet, then Cedarville, the Ponds of Plymouth and other neighborhoods in South Plymouth before returning to headquarters

The Relief Association started spreading word about the parade on Saturday, advising residents to be on the lookout for the Easter Bunny.
Once the parade started, word about its expected route spread online and many people were outside waiting when the procession finally rolled by.

Depending on the time of day, some folks were still in their pajamas. Others were wearing their Easter finest. There were even a few people dressed up in furry costumes of their own.

Some people traveled with the caravan, pulling over at expected intersections to enjoy repeated visits.

A number of older folks were camped out waiting in their yards in lawn chairs. Some wiped at tears.

Manuel said the tour was hours longer than anticipated in part because the parade kept adding new neighborhoods to the route. And every time the lead cruiser saw a child running to get a look, the procession slowed to a crawl.

“It was a long day, but when you see the kids out there jumping up and down for joy, just shaking with excitement, it was well worth it,” Manuel said.

 

Family and friends celebrate this Plymouth 8-year-old’s birthday with drive-by party

Jack Callahan was puzzled. The 8-year-old boy couldn’t understand why there was a parade on his quiet street in Manomet. Yes, it was his birthday, but that’s not a reason for police and fire vehicles and about 20 other cars to drive past his home.

Actually, it was the whole reason. Thanks to Jack’s mother, Liz, family and friends all celebrated Saturday with a drive-by birthday party because of the coronavirus pandemic. People slowly drove their cars, many decorated with balloons and signs with celebratory greetings, while honking, waving and cheering on the birthday boy.

“We had to cancel Jack’s birthday party because of coronavirus,” Liz Callahan said. “He was disappointed, but I still wanted to do something. I came up with this idea and sent electronic invitations to everybody.”

Jack’s grandfather Tony Thompson used his connections with the Plymouth fire and police departments to add sirens and lights to the occasion. The retired battalion chief made a few calls and arranged to have a fire truck, police car and SWAT vehicle drive by in the procession with horns blaring and flashers lighting up the cool, gray day.

At least 20 cars filled with friends and neighbors drove by in the brief parade. Young and old alike leaned out the windows or popped their heads up through sun roofs to congratulate Jack on his birthday. Many riders sang “Happy Birthday” and a few handed Jack homemade cards for medical and emergency professionals.

“We have a couple of neighbors who work in healthcare,” Liz said. “The kids have all been affected by what’s going on with Coronavirus and are concerned for these people. I asked the kids to make cards and to give them to Jack when they drove by. We will include them with care packages we are making for them.”

As might be expected, Jack was more than a little excited by the drive-by birthday party. He didn’t understand at first why he had to leave the warmth of his home on a cold, misty day and walk to the curbside with his mother, father, Chris, 28-month-old sister Caroline, and golden retriever Berkley. However, his curiosity was soon rewarded.

“I thought it was a parade,” he said. “I didn’t know it was for me until I saw the signs. Then I got excited.”

When asked how this celebration compared with past birthdays, Jack enthusiastically replied, “Best birthday ever!”

March 2020

Keven Joyce’s probation is over – almost as soon as it began.

A judge dismissed the larceny case against the Precinct 15 Town Meeting representative last Friday, four days after Joyce reached a plea agreement with prosecutors over money missing from the Little Red School House in Cedarville.

As part of the deal, Joyce was to pay restitution to the town of $23,676.44 for fees he collected while serving as volunteer manager of the town-owned building for more than five years.

Joyce was required to pay $17,901.44 that was frozen in a bank account without delay. That money represented fees Joyce collected from groups using the building for weekly meetings over the years.

He was also given up to a year to repay $5,775 that he admitted he took from the fees as a gas allowance for his work in overseeing the building. Judge James Sullivan gave Joyce up to a year to repay the $5,775, while continuing the case without a finding until March 1, 2021.

The judge said probation would end and he would dismiss the case once all of the money was reimbursed.

A short, but unavoidable delay in freeing up the checking account resulted in Joyce paying back the $5,775 before the $17,901.44 was released by the bank. Both amounts were paid in full last week and the judge dismissed the larceny charge against Joyce at the request of probation officials on Friday.

Still unclear is a Joyce’s status as a town official.

As part of the plea agreement, Joyce was to step away from town government, a term of his probation.

Court records offer two slightly different interpretations of what that specifically meant. On one form, he was ordered to “refrain from/relinquish any and all positions with the town of Plymouth i.e. commissions, appointments, etc.” On another, he was ordered to “refrain and relinquish any political or volunteer position with the town of Plymouth or governmental body in the town of Plymouth.”

Joyce has been an elected town meeting representative in Plymouth for many years. He was re-elected to his most recent three-year term last year. That term expires in 2022.

According to Town Clerk Laurence Pizer, Joyce is also a member of the town’s Affordable Housing Trust, with a term ending in 2021. He is also the chairman of the town’s Disabilities Committee, even though his term ended in 2018, and on the Cable Advisory Committee, even though that term ended in 2014.

Pizer said members of both committees remain members even after their terms expire until they resign or are replaced. Joyce is also on the town’s Skating Rink Committee.

Joyce was originally accused of stealing more than $25,000 from the town after a police investigation of the handling of fees at the Little Red School House. He maintained his innocence, saying he held the money in a separate account for repairs at the building and only took the $5,775 as a gas allowance.

An embezzlement charge was dismissed last summer. A charge of withholding evidence from an official proceeding was dismissed last week. At the same time, Sullivan continued the larceny case without a finding after Joyce admitted to sufficient facts for a finding of guilt.

Pizer said Joyce made no efforts to step down from any town positions during his brief stint on probation last week. In an interview Tuesday, he said plans to continue as a Town Meeting representative and has not made up his mind about the other positions.

Joyce said he has been soured greatly about his volunteer service in town and will likely resign his position with the Disabilities Commission, even though he does not have to. He said he will also most likely step down from the Affordable Housing Trust, even though he has been asked by the chairman to stay on. The Cable Advisory Committee has not met in two years, he said.

A spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Election Division said Wednesday that there is precedent for a plea agreement to include restrictions on elected officials, but noted that court proceedings usually only involve cases where an official has been convicted of a felony. Otherwise, town charter would govern an official’s status.

Pizer said he assumed any decisions made by the courts would be enforced by the courts.

Pizer was facing a Friday deadline for including a vacancy for an uncompleted term in Precinct 15 on the ballot for the Town Election should Joyce step down. Selectmen would also have to approve that move, he said.

Town Manger Melissa Arrighi, who was consulted by prosecutors about terms of last week’s plea agreement, said she believes Joyce will honor the intent of the agreement about government service, but remained primarily concerned about getting the town’s money back.

“I think he wants town government to be successful and any work done by them to be successful,” she said.

Arrighi said she was not sure if Joyce could be prevented from serving an elected position, adding that she is more concerned with the Disabilities Commission, which has had trouble getting a quorum to meet and needs to get work done.

Keven Joyce Admits Sufficient Facts. 

PLYMOUTH – A plea agreement has ended the state’s prosecution of resident Keven Joyce for stealing money from the town while managing the Little Red School House.

Joyce was a long time Town Meeting representative.

Joyce admitted to sufficient facts for a finding of guilty on a lone charge of larceny of more than $1,200 Monday in Plymouth District Court. But Judge James Sullivan said he would adopt recommendations from prosecutors and the defense and continue the case without a finding for one year, rather than find Joyce guilty of a crime.

Joyce agreed to pay the town $23,676 in restitution. He also agreed to “relinquish any and all political positions in the town of Plymouth.”

As part of the agreement, Sullivan dismissed a related charge of withholding evidence from an official proceeding. Another judge dismissed a related charge of embezzlement against Joyce last summer.

The agreement calls for Joyce to pay the town $17,901 immediately. That’s the amount of money in a bank account he opened to collect user fees for the town-owned Little Red School House in Cedarville over a period of several years.

Joyce must also pay back $5,775 that he gave himself for expenses in serving as volunteer manager of the building, which is used for meetings by Girl Scouts and groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon.

Sullivan placed Joyce on administrative probation for one year, but said the probation would end and the case would be dismissed as soon as Joyce makes full restitution.

Joyce, 71, declined to comment after the plea agreement was completed. Defense attorney Jack Atwood called the agreement a “just outcome.”

Town officials maintained they had never seen any of the money. Police eventually charged Joyce with embezzlement, larceny and withholding evidence, claiming that Joyce stole more than $25,000 from the town.

Joyce maintained his innocence, arguing that most of the money went into a bank account that he never touched. He admitted to taking some money for gas and mileage.

Sullivan said the state’s decision to dismiss the embezzlement charge against Joyce last summer was part of an agreement to resolve the case before trial. Sullivan said the emphasis has been in making the town whole for its losses.

Assistant District Attorney Carolan Blackwood told Sullivan she consulted with Plymouth Town Manager Melissa Arrighi before reaching the agreement with Joyce Monday afternoon. Blackwood said she and Arrighi arrived at the same restitution amount independently.

Atwood insisted that Joyce never intended to steal any money from the town and pointed to the untouched bank account as proof.

“The important thing is he never withdrew any money,” Atwood said.

“He agrees mileage was wrong, but there was no intent to take any money,” Atwood said.

The state based its restitution amount on a combination of the money that was in the account Joyce used to collect fees and an accounting of gas money he reimbursed himself over five and a half years. Blackwood said the state determined that Joyce reimbursed himself at a rate of $50 for 21 weeks over five and half years.

Atwood said Joyce has no difficulty in resigning his position with the town.

They are many. Joyce had been a town meeting representative since 2008, first from Precinct 5 and later from Precinct 15. He was re-elected to a three-year term representing Precinct 15 last year. Joyce was also a member of the Affordable Housing Trust, the Skating Rink Committee and the Commission of Disabilities.

PLYMOUTH — A Plymouth man is set to face criminal charges after police say a gun he was handling misfired and hit a baby in the apartment next door. The baby, who was shot in the foot, is expected to be OK.

The 22-year-old man, who has not been identified, will be charged with discharging a weapon within 500 feet of a building and assault and battery by means of a firearm. Police said he will not be arrested, but summonsed to Plymouth District Court at a later date.

Plymouth Police Chief Michael Botieri said Tuesday that police were called to a multi-family apartment building on Forrest Avenue around 10:30 a.m. Sunday for a report of a gun misfiring.

Police said the 22-year-old man who was handling the gun called them right away, reported what happened and was cooperative in their investigation. The man told police he was putting a trigger guard on a handgun when it misfired, sending a bullet through the wall of the apartment and into the one next door.

“I think he definitely didn’t mean to discharge the weapon,” Botieri said.

Police said the man’s license to carry has been suspended and that they confiscated the gun.

When police responded, they found an 11-month-old baby had been shot. The parents were home at the time and heard the shot, but didn’t realize it was a gunshot.

“They thought it was like a charger in an outlet sparking or something,” Botieri said.

WCVB, The Patriot Ledger’s media partner, spoke to the family of the injured baby, named Noah.

The bullet also hit the mattress that Noah’s older brother, Artu, slept on the night before. Had Artu been sleeping on the same mattress at the time the gun was discharged, it could have hit him in the head.

Noah was rushed to Beth Israel Deaconess hospital in Plymouth, and later taken to a Boston hospital. Botieri said the child’s injuries were considered non-life-threatening, and Amori said his son was recovering.

 

Baby Grazed By Neighbors Bullet

PLYMOUTH — Police are seeking to charge a Plymouth resident after they injured a baby by accidentally discharging a gun.

Plymouth police Capt. Kevin J. Manuel said an 11-month-old baby suffered a graze wound from a bullet when a round was accidentally discharged from a neighbor’s weapon.

The incident happened around 11 a.m. Sunday at an address on Forest Avenue.

Manuel said the neighbor is licensed to carry the firearm.

The Plymouth Police Department is seeking out a charge for discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building. Manuel said the gun owner could face other charges.

Plymouth police hope to file the charge by Tuesday morning.

 

11  Month Old Baby grazed by Bullet

PLYMOUTH – An 11-month-old baby was injured Sunday after the accidental discharge of a neighbor’s gun in North Plymouth.

Police said the neighbor was putting a trigger lock on a handgun in his apartment on Forest Avenue late Sunday morning, when the gun fired a 9mm bullet through his wall and into the neighboring apartment.

The bullet struck and shattered a cellphone charger. Capt. Kevin Manuel said the bullet or pieces of the shattered charger then grazed the baby’s foot.

Manuel said the baby’s parents initially thought the baby had been injured by an exploding charger. The family took the baby to the hospital. The infant was treated for injuries and is fine, Manuel said.

The owner of the gun alerted officials and ultimately his neighbors about the source of charger explosion after calling police at 11:02 a.m. The man told police he was putting a trigger lock on the gun and didn’t realize there was a round in the chamber and it accidentally fired.

Police checked with the neighbors and learned the family had already taken their baby to the hospital.

Manuel said the 22-year-old will be summoned to court on a charge of discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling.

 

February 2020

Teen to face charges in Plymouth Vandalism Spree

PLYMOUTH – Police have accused a local teen of last week’s vandalism spree on the downtown waterfront.

The 17-year-old local high school student will be charged with 11 felony counts of vandalism to property and one misdemeanor count of trespassing. Police are not releasing the boy’s name because he is a juvenile. He will face charges in Juvenile Court.

The charges stem from the Feb. 17 spree that targeted Plymouth Rock, Forefathers Monument and several other landmarks and attractions along the waterfront.

Police Chief Michael Botieri said detectives reviewed hours of videotape footage of the downtown area in building a case against the boy.

In addition to Plymouth Rock and Forefathers Monument, the boy is charged with damaging the Plymouth Maiden statue and a memorial bench in Brewster Gardens, a memorial stone and concrete slab at the entrance to the harbor jetty, the waterfront bandstand, a town map in Shirley Square and four Scallop Roll statues.

Most of the damage included the words and letters 508 MOF. Botieri said the boy offered no explanation for what was written.

“He eventually cooperated, but never gave a good reason why he spray painted,” Botieri said.

He said there is not a stiffer charge for vandalizing historic landmarks. The charges are only heightened if war monuments or veterans memorials are targeted.

The vandalism charges carrying potential sentences of three years in jail and a $1,500 fine. The lesser, trespassing charge was added for going into the portico at Plymouth Rock.

Driver will face multiple charges

PLYMOUTH – A woman who crashed a car into a utility pole near the downtown skate park earlier this week will face a number of charges.

Police said the 49-year-old local woman suffered minor injuries when she crashed into a pole at Summer and Edes streets at 3:47 p.m. Monday.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said an investigation determined the woman was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and was in possession of suboxone and a prescription muscle relaxer. Manuel said the woman was also driving her son’s vehicle without permission and had taken money from his wallet.

She will face charges of driving under the influence of drugs, driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of a Class B substance, possession of a Class E substance, using a motor vehicle without authority and larceny of less than $1,200.

Manuel said the woman and her son will also face firearms charges because police found a firearm owned by the son in the vehicle.

The woman will be charged with carrying a firearm without a license. The 26-year-old son will be charged with leaving a firearm unsecured.

Manuel said both will be issued summons to appear in court. The woman was not arrested immediately because she was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries, Manuel said.

 

Police have arrested a Florida man in check cashing scheme

PLYMOUTH – Police have arrested a Florida man in connection with a check cashing scheme targeting area banks.

Jose Pavon-Estupinan, 25, of 7503 West Hannah St., Tampa, Florida, was charged Thursday afternoon with uttering a false check and forging/misusing a Registry of Motor Vehicles document.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said Pavon-Estupinian is accused of using a fake driver’s license in an attempt to cash a fake check at the downtown branch of Eastern Bank.

Manuel said a clerk at the bank became suspicious about Pavon-Estupinian and called police as he tried to cash a check shortly after 3:30 p.m. Police arrested Pavon-Estupinian after determining his license and the check were bogus.

Manuel said police believe Pavon-Estupinian is part of a group that has been using fake licenses to cash fake checks at banks throughout the region. Banks in Wareham, Marion and Sandwich have been targeted by the group, he said.

At the same time police were arresting Pavon-Estupinian at the downtown Eastern Bank, another man was trying to cash a check with a fake license at the Eastern Bank branch in West Plymouth.

Manuel said the teller there became suspicious about the man’s license and called police, but the man fled before police arrived.

 

Plymouth Rock and other monuments targeted with spray paint. 

PLYMOUTH – “Why? Why? Why would someone do this?” Gayle Manning asked as she looked down at vandalized Plymouth Rock Monday morning.

The Kingston woman was one of many who traveled to the Plymouth waterfront to express disgust for the overnight damage to the landmark and other waterfront monuments by vandals wielding cans of spray paint.

Police Chief Michael Botieri said Plymouth Rock, which is in Pilgrim Memorial State Park, and the Pilgrim Maiden statue and a memorial granite bench across the street in town-owned Brewster Gardens, and at least four of the Scallop Roll statues scattered about the waterfront by the Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce last year, were tagged with paint overnight.

Similar graffiti was also found more than a mile away at the base of National Monument to the Forefathers, also state owned, off Allerton Street. That graffiti includes obscene messages. Photos of that scene are not being published.

Much of the graffiti was smears of paint and indecipherable, Botieri said, but several of the landmarks were tagged with the numbers and letters 508 MOF. The graffiti at Forefathers Monument included obscene messages, included one aimed at local police.

Police detectives were reviewing surveillance video from the area in hopes of identifying the vandals, Botieri said. Police were also seen searching along the rocky waterfront for discarded paint containers.

Botieri said it does not appear to be any political connection to the graffiti, but those who gathered at Plymouth Rock Monday morning could not help but wonder.

Manning noted that the graffiti occurred on Presidents Day and in 2020, which is the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock.

Maintenance crews from the town and the state quickly set to work Monday cleaning up the graffiti with power washers and a solvent that has proven effective at cleaning past vandalism.

Plymouth Rock has been targeted occasionally over the years, sometimes by people with a specific political agenda.

Botieri acknowledged that this most recent vandalism was beyond the scope of tagging incidents in the past.

“Seeing this type of disrespect for the historic reminders of the Mayflower story is both sad and unsettling,” Lea Filson, the executive director of local tourism agency See Plymouth, said in a statement. “The outpouring of concern and anger over the incident has been a positive ending to a thoughtless gesture.

“As Plymouth commemorates the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower this year, we have already begun welcoming international and domestic visitors. The waterfront and the historic district are safe, well- lit, and will continue to welcome all who visit.”

The four defaced objects are but a few of the many monuments, museums, attractions, restaurants, and family activities offered in Plymouth, Filson noted, adding that the graffiti was removed within a few hours.

 

PLYMOUTH – A Town Meeting representative and candidate for selectman may have been too zealous in looking into Fire Department response times.

Police are investigating whether Kevin Lynch broke any laws in following firefighters to a call on Plaza Way Friday night.

Chief Michael Botieri said police are investigating allegations that Lynch was following a fire engine too closely and may have harassed firefighters at the scene.

Police were present at Plaza Way before firefighters arrived and interacted with Lynch, but did not take any action at the scene. But firefighters have since been interviewed about the incident by police and charges or citations could be filed.

 

Fully accredited: Plymouth police recognized for meeting best practices benchmark

PLYMOUTH – Years of behind-the-scenes work has translated into high honors for the Plymouth Police Department.

In a unanimous vote, the department was awarded accreditation by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission this week. The department is one of 90 municipal and university police departments of nearly 400 in the state that has received the designation.

Police Chief Michael Botieri accepted the honor Monday at the commission’s semi-annual meeting in Dover.

“We are currently in compliance with 339 standards that have been identified by the Massachusetts Police Accreditation Commission to be the benchmark for best practices in policing,” Botieri said. “This endeavor was not easy and could not have been possible without the efforts of all members of this department, to include the department accreditation manager, Capt. Dana Flynn.”

Flynn was still a lieutenant when Botieri assigned him to oversee the accreditation process in 2016. With the help of patrolmen and supervisors, Flynn and the chief reviewed and, where needed, rewrote policies and procedures to reflect best practices.

Botieri said the standards for accreditation impact officer and public safety, address high liability/risk management issues and generally promote operational efficiency throughout the department, ensuring that written policies, procedures, rules and regulations reflect best practices and promote accountability.

The mandatory standards provide a means of independent evaluation and enhance the reputation of the department. Accreditation also minimizes the department’s exposure to liability, builds a stronger defense against lawsuits, and has the potential to reduce liability insurance costs.

The accreditation is good for three years. The department will be subject to a re-accreditation process again in 2023.

Plymouth joins Abington, Bridgewater, Duxbury and Marion as the only accredited police departments in Plymouth County. Departments in the Plymouth County towns of East Bridgewater, Halifax, Hanson, Hingham, Middleborough, Plympton, Scituate and Whitman are working toward accreditation.

Botieri said the local department will soon proudly proclaim its accreditation with stickers on all cruisers.

“It just means we’re an open book,” Botieri said. “It’s difficult to open your doors to assessors, other lieutenants, captains and chiefs who come in and criticize, but you’ve got to do that and be transparent, and I think the public should feel confidence in us because we’ve gone to that extreme.”

 

January 2020

Plymouth students face charges after prank goes viral

PLYMOUTH — Two Plymouth North High School students are facing charges after performing an internet video prank that went viral.

The students were caught performing the prank after they scorched two electrical outlets in a classroom Tuesday using a penny and a phone charger.

Plymouth firefighters were called to the school at about 12:15 p.m. and found the pronged part of an iPhone charger that had been blackened and scorched. A penny was fused to the prongs of the charger, and an electrical outlet in the back corner of the room was scorched.

A teacher told firefighters that the students had plugged the charger in and dropped a penny between the outlet and the charger, causing the outlet to spark and smoke. The teacher said the students had done it twice in a matter of minutes in the classroom.

Firefighters found there was no fire in the classroom, which was deemed to be safe. No one was injured, according to officials. The Plymouth North students face charges of burning a building, property destruction and disorderly conduct, as well as additional school discipline. The Plymouth Police Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office were notified and are investigating.

Videos of the prank have been posted on the smartphone micro-video app TikTok. The prank involves partially inserting the pronged part of a phone charger into an outlet and sliding a penny down the wall onto the exposed prongs. This action results in the outlet being scorched and can cause electrical system damage and, in some cases, fire, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The office said the Plymouth incident is at least the third time this prank has caused damage in the state.

A student at Westford Academy started a fire inside the school Friday, forcing an evacuation, and is facing charges. Another incident happened at a home in Holden.

The Norfolk County Fire Chiefs Association and State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey are warning parents to discourage their children from trying the prank.

“Alert them to this challenge, advise them to, not only look for signs of fire play like scorched outlets, but to have conversations about fire and electrical safety with tweens and teenagers,” Ostroskey said in a statement.

A West Plymouth man involved in a shootout with police in 2018 plans a mental health defense when his case goes to trial this spring.

 

West Plymouth man involved in a shootout with police in 2018 plans a mental health defense 

An attorney for Michael Walsh has notified the court that her client intends to raise the issue of his mental condition when he exchanged gunfire with five local officers on April 26, 2018.

Specifically, attorney Sarah Fleming said in pleadings that Walsh intends to raise the issue of lack of criminal responsibility using expert testimony of a psychologist relying on Walsh’s statements.

In asking for funds to hire a psychologist, the defense noted that Walsh has a significant history of traumatic brain injuries, resulting in at least two medical and mental health providers to find that he cannot always be held accountable for his actions.

Walsh, 38, had been scheduled to go to trial next month on a slew of charges connected with the shooting, including seven counts each of armed assault with intent to murder and assault with a dangerous weapon.

He is accused of shooting at his wife and teenaged step-daughter after a domestic disturbance at their Federal Furnace Road home. Police responded in force after mother and daughter fled.

Walsh is accused of firing one shot at officers before retreating briefly into his house. A minute later, he came out firing a handgun. Police returned fire, hitting Walsh with numerous shots. He was ultimately treated for 10 gunshot wounds, including injuries to his head, shoulder, arm, backside and upper torso. No police officers were injured.

Court pleadings show that a video surveillance system at the house captured Walsh shooting at his wife’s car. Pleadings also suggest that Walsh may have intended so-called suicide by cop.

He allegedly told his step-daughter to go ahead and call police because “tonight is my night to die.” He also allegedly texted his wife after police arrived, saying “they’re here, goodbye, I love you.”

Court filings indicate that Walsh’s wife did not know he had a firearm in the house. She wouldn’t allow one, because he suffered a traumatic brain injury when he was injured in the line of duty while working as a police officer in South Carolina.

Walsh had had an altercation with local firefighters a month before the shooting, over a neighbor burning leaves.

Walsh is also facing trial for a 2015 incident in Brockton. Court documents indicate is accused of driving in circles around two minority males while shouting racial slurs and threatening to shoot them with a gun.

Walsh was originally held without bail pending trial, but a judge later set bail at $500,000 on the Plymouth case and $5,000 on the Brockton case.

He was released on bail after his wife posted $505,000 in cash for his release.

Walsh was ordered to wear a GPS bracelet and maintain home confinement, except to attend medical, legal and court appointments, as conditions of his release. He was also ordered to be drug and alcohol free and be subject to medical and psychological evaluation.

A judge refused to revoke bail, but added conditions that Walsh turn in his license and not drive and report all police interactions with probation officials.

Walsh most recently was scheduled for trial Feb. 10, but at a hearing last week the case was continued until May after Fleming, his court-appointed lawyer, requested that a second psychologist review his case.

Pleadings also address why the state is paying for Walsh’s defense, even though his wife has posted a large amount of money for his release. The defense notes that Walsh’s wife is a named victim and considered an adverse witness, so her financial resources should not be imputed to him, despite her intention at this point not to cooperate with the prosecution.

Missing teen found safe in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH – A reverse 911 call helped locate a missing autistic teen in downtown Plymouth Thursday night.

Police put out calls for the 16-year-old boy several hours after he was overdue in returning home from school Thursday afternoon. The message described the boy and asked anyone who saw him to call police.

Employees at a Court Street restaurant contacted police after getting one of the calls just before midnight.

Manuel said the restaurant had taken in the boy and employees were giving him something to eat. Police and paramedics responded and took the boy to BID-Plymouth hospital for evaluation.

 

A drunken driving arrest has cost James Hanna his job

PLYMOUTH – A weekend drunken driving arrest has cost James Hanna his job as principal of Plymouth South High School.

In a letter sent to parents and guardians of students Monday afternoon, Superintendent of Schools Gary Maestas announced “with regret” that ”“effective immediately, Mr. Hanna will no longer be serving as principal of Plymouth South High School.

“This is a personnel matter and we are not able to share any further details at this time,” Maestas wrote in the letter. “We are working through a plan for the remainder of the school year and will communicate further once that is finalized.”

James Hanna, 48, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and negligent driving and injury from mobile phone use Saturday after he was involved in a two-car crash on South Street.

Police said Hanna, the principal at Plymouth South High School since 2017, was intoxicated when he crashed his Jeep Grand Cherokee into the back of a Kia sedan near Mayflower Food and Spirits just after 6 p.m.

Hanna admitted to police that he looked down at his phone to look at a text when he crashed into the rear of the KIA. Neither Hanna nor the other driver was injured, but a passenger in the Kia was treated for whiplash.

Police reports indicate Hanna admitted to drinking three beers in the two hours before the crash.

Police reports state Hanna smelled moderately of alcohol, had glassy, blood-shot eyes and slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet after the crash. Reports indicate he failed field sobriety tests and had a blood/alcohol level that was more than twice the legal level for driving.

Breathalyzer tests taken at police headquarters recorded Hanna’s blood/alcohol level at .237 and .231 percent. The legal limit for driving is .08 percent.

Hanna could not be reached for comment by the newspaper. His attorney, Stephen Jones, declined to comment on the charges.

Hanna has spent more than half of his life as a teacher and administrator at Plymouth South High School. He was principal of the school’s technical studies program before his appointment as principal at Plymouth South in May 2017.

 

Fatal overdose in Plymouth

PLYMOUTH – A local man has died in what police are calling a fatal drug overdose.

Capt. Kevin Manuel said the 36-year-old man was found unresponsive in the living room of his home in North Plymouth Friday morning. Efforts to revive the man were not successful.

Manuel said police have deemed the man’s death a fatal overdose based on investigation. The man’s death is the first fatal overdose in Plymouth in 2020.

 

Plymouth North Students Face Attempted Arson Charges

Two 15-year-old boys will face criminal charges for performing a viral online prank that used a phone charger and a penny to short-circuit electrical outlets at their school.

PLYMOUTH – Two 15-year-old boys will face criminal charges for performing a viral online prank that used a phone charger and a penny to short-circuit electrical outlets at their school.

Police Chief Michael Botieri said the Plymouth North High School students each will be charged with two felony counts of attempted arson and two misdemeanor counts of malicious destruction of property less than $1,200 in connection with the so-called TikTok challenge.

“This type of behavior will not be tolerated by this department and anyone involved will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Botieri said in a statement.

The charges stem from two separate incidents in which the two students fused a penny to the prongs of charger in classrooms at the school. The prank, which involves sliding a penny down onto the prongs of a partially inserted phone charger, has gone viral on the popular video app, TikTok.

Police and firefighters were called to Plymouth North shortly after noon Tuesday after a teacher reported that two students had performed the dangerous challenge twice in a matter of minutes in a back corner of the classroom.

Firefighters found a scorched electrical outlet and a penny fused to the blacked prongs of a charger.

Botieri said the boys face two counts of each charge because an investigation revealed the same boys had performed the prank on an earlier occasion, but it went unnoticed. The criminal charges were to be filed Friday in Juvenile Court.

Superintendent of Schools Gary Maestas could not comment on whether the students are facing disciplinary action in school, but he issued a statement saying the school district is working with the police and fire departments “to fully understand the scope of the issue and pursue charges to the fullest extent of the law.”

Maestas called the pranks irresponsible, noting that it has ignited fires in other schools in Massachusetts and others states, causing disruption of the school day and significant damage to schools.

Fire Chief Ed Bradley said firefighters investigated and confirmed that there was no fire in the classroom and the room was safe. Nobody was injured in the incidents, but Bradley said the prank involves a significant risk or injury and damage.

“These actions are extremely dangerous and could potentially start a fire and cause thousands of dollars in property damage. It could also cause serious injury to anyone who is nearby,” Brady said in a statement. “Luckily, no one was hurt today, but we urge parents to talk to their children about this troubling trend and tell them ow dangerous it is to themselves and others.”

According to the state fire marshal, there have been two other confirmed instances of the TikTok prank in Massachusetts recently. One occurred at a residence in Holden. The other occurred at Westford High School, where the students responsible will also face charges.

Bradley said the state fire marshal sent out an advisory about the incidents in Holden and Westford late Tuesday morning. The incidents at Plymouth North occurred less than 30 minutes later.

Plymouth Students Face Charges After Prank Goes Viral

PLYMOUTH — Two Plymouth North High School students are facing charges after performing an internet video prank that went viral.

The students were caught performing the prank after they scorched two electrical outlets in a classroom Tuesday using a penny and a phone charger.

Plymouth firefighters were called to the school at about 12:15 p.m. and found the pronged part of an iPhone charger that had been blackened and scorched. A penny was fused to the prongs of the charger, and an electrical outlet in the back corner of the room was scorched.

A teacher told firefighters that the students had plugged the charger in and dropped a penny between the outlet and the charger, causing the outlet to spark and smoke. The teacher said the students had done it twice in a matter of minutes in the classroom.

Firefighters found there was no fire in the classroom, which was deemed to be safe. No one was injured, according to officials. The Plymouth North students face charges of burning a building, property destruction and disorderly conduct, as well as additional school discipline. The Plymouth Police Department and the State Fire Marshal’s Office were notified and are investigating.

Videos of the prank have been posted on the smartphone micro-video app TikTok. The prank involves partially inserting the pronged part of a phone charger into an outlet and sliding a penny down the wall onto the exposed prongs. This action results in the outlet being scorched and can cause electrical system damage and, in some cases, fire, according to the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The office said the Plymouth incident is at least the third time this prank has caused damage in the state.

A student at Westford Academy started a fire inside the school Friday, forcing an evacuation, and is facing charges. Another incident happened at a home in Holden.

The Norfolk County Fire Chiefs Association and State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey are warning parents to discourage their children from trying the prank.

“Alert them to this challenge, advise them to, not only look for signs of fire play like scorched outlets, but to have conversations about fire and electrical safety with tweens and teenagers,” Ostroskey said in a statement.

Material from WCVB was used in this report.

 

New Badge of Honor For Plymouth Police

Local police are sporting new badges to mark the town’s 400th anniversary.

PLYMOUTH – Local police are sporting new badges to mark the town’s 400th anniversary.

As part of the 2020 commemoration of the landing of the Pilgrims, all 128 sworn officers on the force are wearing special commemorative badges designed to reflect the town’s long and rich history.

Chief Michael Botieri distributed the new commemorative badges to officers as 2019 ended. By the chief’s order, the new badges are part of the official Plymouth Police Department uniform until 2021.

The badges replace shell-style badges that local police have been using since at least the 1940s.

The commemorative badges are based on badges local officers wore more than 100 years ago. There is one major difference. Instead of badge numbers, the new badges will have the years 1620-2020 etched in the lower right corner.

Patrolmen will wear silver badges. Ranking officers and detectives will wear gold shields.

The badges were designed using the badge that belonged to former local police officer Jacob “Happy” Peck, who served on the department from 1915 to 1941.

Botieri said he wanted his officers to feel they are a part of the year-long commemoration as they will be involved in virtually every event.

“There will be no department in town affected more by 2020 than the Police Department,” Botieri said. “I think it personalizes it a little bit for the year. We want them to enjoy the celebration and be part of the celebration.”

Botieri said officers will return to using their old shell-style badges in 2021.

 

PCO To Participate in Mentoring

PLYMOUTH — The police chiefs of Plymouth County announced that Plymouth County Outreach has been selected as a mentor site for the TASC’s Center for Health and Justice’s Law Enforcement/First Responder Diversion and Referral Mentoring Initiative.

PCO will serve as a mentor to other law enforcement and first responder agencies across the country in their efforts to respond to the opioid crisis.

Mentor sites were selected through a competitive process to participate in the program, which will fund peer-to-peer site visit opportunities for law enforcement and first responder agencies to visit mentor agencies. The eight sites represent a diverse cross-section of diversion programs and collaborations between law enforcement and first responders, behavioral health providers, and other community partners to connect individuals with opioid use disorder to treatment, instead of entering the criminal justice system.

Plymouth County Outreach is one of eight jurisdictions that will participate in this initiative. Other counties include: Cabell County Emergency Management Services in West Virginia, Colerain Township Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services in Ohio, Lucas County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio, Mundelein Police Department in Illinois, the city of Philadelphia, Seattle-King County Public Defender Association in Washington and the Tucson Police Department.

Visit http://coapresources.org/Learning/PeerToPeer/Diversion for more information about the Law Enforcement/First Responder Diversion and Referral Mentoring Initiative.

 

State Fire Marshall – Plymouth Police Investigate Homemade Bomb

PLYMOUTH — Plymouth police are awaiting lab testing results from an improvised explosive that a Buttermilk Bay man found along his fence Sunday.

Plymouth police Capt. Kevin Manuel the resident was taking decorations off his fence when he saw the device on the ground. He said the explosive was a homemade device but would not elaborate.

“It’s very weird, especially since the guy claims no one has any reason to do this,” Manuel said.

The device was handed over to the state fire marshal’s office. Spokeswoman Jennifer Mieth said the device was not commercially produced.

“It appears to have been improvised,” she said. “It was taken to the State Police crime lab.”

She said the state fire marshal’s office is assisting in the investigation.

Plymouth police is the primary organization investigating while the state fire marshal’s office is investigating the device itself, he said.

“At this point, they have the evidence and they’re processing it,” Manuel said.

 

Police are investigating explosives outside a home in Buttermilk Bay.

PLYMOUTH – Police are investigating the discovery of explosives outside a home in Buttermilk Bay.

A man removing his outdoor Christmas lights discovered the device Sunday morning. Capt. Kevin Manuel said the resident reported finding what appeared to be two sticks of dynamite.

Manuel said the explosive appears to be a homemade device. It was located just outside the wooden fence around the man’s home.

Members of the State Police bomb squad neutralized the device. State Police as well as members of the State Fire Marshal’s office are investigating.

 

 

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