During his arraignment in West Roxbury District Court on Tuesday, former Boston firefighter Albert Arroyo pleaded not guilty to charges he violated a restraining order filed by his ex-girlfriend last month. Arroyo was arrested over the weekend after his ex-girlfriend accused him of driving by her residence, calling her multiple times, and hiding behind a door in her apartment building.
The woman has accused the former firefighter of aggressively stalking her for six years. In her affidavit, the 45-year old Jamaica Plain resident says that she keeps her curtains closed and her door locked because he keeps bothering her. She says that she has often felt scared to leave her home.
Arroyo, who filed a disability pension for work-related injuries, was fired from his job after he refused to go back to work. The former Boston firefighter joined a bodybuilding competition within weeks of filing a disability claim for the injuries he says he suffered during a slip accident on a staircase.
In Massachusetts, a domestic violence restraining order can be filed when one person-either a current or ex-spouse or partner, family member, or household member-accuses another person of emotional, physical, or verbal abuse.
Massachusetts Domestic Violence Statistics:
• In 2006, 28 victims died in domestic violence-related incidents.
• There were 24 incidents involving domestic violence-related murders.
• 28,760 protection orders were issued in 2005.
• Also in 2005, 4,375 adults were arraigned for alleged protection order violations.
While it is important to protect victims of domestic violence, there are many instances where a mild disagreement gets turned into a domestic violence dispute and someone is wrongly arrested for a crime he or she did not commit. Massachusetts law requires police officers to arrest anyone suspected of domestic violence and ultimately, the decision of whether to press criminal charges belongs to the prosecutor and not the alleged victim.
Bodybuilding firefighter Albert Arroyo pleads not guilty, Boston Herald, November 4, 2008
Disgraced firefighter accused of stalking, Boston Herald, November 4, 2008
Related Web Resources:
Abuse Prevention, General Laws of Massachusetts
Zero Tolerance for False Domestic Violence Allegations, DevalPatrick.com
The best way to defend yourself against domestic violence or any other criminal charges in Massachusetts is to speak to one of our experienced Boston criminal defense lawyers today.