Methuen Man Remains Held, Haverhill Victim Gives Birth

Haverhill District Court

A Methuen man remains held without bail after being accused of ramming his motor vehicle into one driven by a pregnant Haverhill woman following an alleged botched drug deal.

Josef Leavitt, 24, of 40 Strathmore Road, Methuen, was arraigned in Haverhill District Court Wednesday on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. A judge ordered him held pending a dangerousness hearing. Deanna Clarke, 24, has since given birth.

“The 24-year-old victim’s condition was upgraded to stable (Wednesday) morning. Her baby was delivered prematurely and is in critical condition,” said Carrie Kimball-Monahan, spokesperson for Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett. Clarke had been airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, after being removed from a Jeep Cherokee by emergency crews

Leavitt was arrested by Haverhill police at 12:38 a.m., Wednesday, at 376 Middle Road, according to a police log. A male passenger, Dale Penney, 24, inside the Jeep received minor injuries after the SUV subsequently crashed into trees.

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