Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

Two tales from Framingham….from disorderly conduct to murder- criminal defense lawyers needed

Today, the daily Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog goes to Framingham…figuratively…where recent troubles seem to have taken place on both sides of the seriousness spectrum.

Let’s start with Adilson D., 37 (hereinafter, “Defendant 1”). He was displeased about a recent interaction with local police. So, while the rest of Massachusetts was focxussing on the weekend heat wave, he spent his early Sunday morning hours apparently repeatedly called 911 to voice his displeasure.

They did not appreciate the criticism.

Law enforcement arrived at Defendant 1’s home to arrest him, at approximately 5:47a.m., which happened, believe it or not, after a “brief struggle”, according to, Deputy Police Chief Craig Davis .

Defendant 1’s 911 complaint calls began at 4:30 a.m.. He said he was upset about being pulled over and that he had been abused by the police.

The 911 dispatcher told him to call the main phone line to make such a complaint, Davis said.

So, naturally, he continued to call 911 eight more times by 5:30 a.m.

“During his calls, it sounded like he was under the influence of alcohol or some other substance,” Davis said.

By the way, dialing while intoxicated is not a crime in the Commonwealth. However, what was going on with the 911 calls is.

So, what was the horrible event that inspired Defendant 1 to make these repeated calls?

According to the police, several officers were investigating an unrelated domestic abuse case on Grant Street. While there, they noticed a car repeatedly driving by them. They stopped the car and found Defendant 1 behind the wheel wearing nothing but boxer shorts. Police identified him and sent him on his way.

Driving repeatedly around the police, by the way, is also not a crime in the Commonwealth.

When the 911 calls started coming in, Sgt. Richard Pomales felt they might be made by the Grant Street drive, so they sent an officer to his address. The officer arrived at the home and saw Defendant 1 .walking around in the boxers and his robe. He purportedly admitted to making the calls.

“He appeared to try to hide something in his pocket and he then refused to take his hand out of the pocket,” said Davis. “The officer tried to remove [Defendant 1’s] hand from his pocket and he began to struggle and scream. This being 5:30 in the morning, we considered it a disturbance.”

Incidently, having one’s hands in one’s pocket while standing on one’s own property is also not illegal in the Commonwealth…although officers do have a right to ensure their own safety.

Defendant 1 was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

One can only guess what kind of calls the actual arrest will inspire.

Meanwhile, Framingham police had more serious criminal issues to deal with in the beginning of the week, other than the arraignment of Defendant 1.

Thomas R., 50, (hereinafter, “Defendant 2”) had an altercation with his girlfriend.

These days, any such altercation can set the stage for a domestic violence accusation. However, when threats of murder enter the scene…particularly if spoken by someone with his hands around another’s throat…somebody is probably going to jail.

According to the Commonwealth, Defendant 2 told his girlfriend he was going to kill her as he tried to strangle her on Monday. The woman is said to have broken away and then reported the assault while seeking treatment in MetroWest Medical Center’s emergency room, Deputy Police Chief Davis said.

Police went to the emergency room at about 1:30 a.m. after the complainant came in to be treated for injuries to her neck..

She told police her ex-boyfriend, Defendant 2, had just attacked her.

The pair live together at 159 Second St., but had broken up.

“The two were having an argument, and during the argument, he put his arms around her neck and starts strangling her,” said Davis. “He said he was going to kill her.” Davis also added that officers noticed red marks around her neck.

Officers went to the apartment, and arrested Defendant 2 at 1:56 a.m. He was charged with attempted murder and domestic threats.

Defendant 2 pleaded not guilty at his Framingham District Court arraignment Monday and was ordered held without bail pending a detention hearing scheduled for today.

Attorney Sam’s Take:

Deputy Police Chief Craig Davis has already had a busy week and it is only Wednesday!

You may be wondering why I grouped these two stories together. Well, first of all, they both took place in Framingham and were close in time. The main reason, though, is the comparison between them and the subject of three special numbers.

9 -1-1.

Calling 911 is supposed to be limited to emergencies, such as that which allegedly took place with Defendant 2. It is not a complaint line. However, in the first story, it would appear that over-reaction was the rule of the day.

As mentioned, driving around the police when they are on your street is not a crime. It is, however, suspicious behavior. Now, I am not aware of the status of the domestic abuse matter that was being investigated at the time he was driving around, but police may have thought he either had information about, or was actually connected to, the domestic matter.

It is unknown as to what inspired Defendant 1 to allegedly keep driving by. However, if he was not considered a suspect, the police could have simply asked if he knew anything about the incident or if there was a reason he seemed to be examining them from all angles and left it at that. There are, after all, procedural guidelines and Constitutional rules as to when an officer may pull a car over and demand to see identification.

On the other hand, all that they did was stop him, dentify him and then let him go. He was not detained for any substantial period of time and was not arrested. So, why the emergency to call and complain about the matter? The big question is, of course, once being told the correct number to call, why continue to call 911?

Was it because, as officers opined, he was “under the influence of something”?

Maybe. But, while drinking at home and on the phone is not illegal, literally harassing 911 operators and distracting them while other, more serious calls are coming in, is, at the very least, frowned upon.

How did the “brief struggle” with Defendant 1 start? That, too, we do not know. However, standing on your property, hands in pockets, admitting to have made a call to 911, even if you have been drinking, is not, per se, illegal. However, if the police were there to charge him for the calls, and he resisted, then it is.

It is noteworthy that Defendant 1 was is not charged with assault and battery on a police officer or resisting arrest…only disorderly conduct.

I guess we will simply have to wait to see how that plays out in court. The lesson to you is to try and keep cool when frustrated by the police in ways you feel are unfair. There is nothing wrong with complaining if you feel you have been unjustly treated. But do it right. Do not repeatedly call 911. Do not argue with the officers. Either call the proper number to lodge the complaint, or consult an attorney to guide you through the process.

As I have often told you, including as late as yesterday’s posting, do not fight with the officers; you will not win.

Interestingly, the man who is facing a much more serious situation, Defendant 2, it would appear, was at least able to understands this. He is in serious trouble, but he did not make his situation worse by trying to out-talk, out-run or out-fight the officers.

Or maybe he was just tired from the altercation he had already had which led them to his door in the first place.

The full articles of this story can be found at http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x289631803/Framingham-man-charged-with-disorderly-conduct?view=print and http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x289631807/Framingham-man-charged-with-attempted-murder

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