Lawrence Man Allegedly Throws Wheelchair at Disabled Man, Assaults Haverhill Police Officer

(File photograph.)

A fight at Haverhill’s GAR Park on July 10 turned violent when police say a Lawrence man who admitted to drinking and taking the drug “Molly” pushed a disabled man out of his wheelchair and threw the chair at him.

Haverhill Police Officers Conor Clark and Eric MacKinnon were dispatched to the park just before 7 p.m. last Wednesday to find 44-year-old Jose Defrancesco with bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and a staggered stance. According to Clark, he smelled heavily of alcohol. During his conversation with police, Defrancesco denied an eyewitness report that he threw the chair. Instead, he told police he was “helping out” his friend.

Arrested for assault and battery, Defrancesco racked up an additional charge of defacing property when he picked a scab off his finger and smeared blood on the wall of the booking area of the Bailey Boulevard police station, Clark said.

Following booking, because Defrancesco reported symptoms of trouble breathing and hallucinations due to his drug use earlier that day, Haverhill Police transported him to Holy Family Hospital. Once there, Defrancesco was “challenging security guards to fight and stated he was a black belt and not afraid to die,” according to Clark.

When he was discharged from the hospital, Defrancesco refused to leave and had to be escorted out by the officers and three security guards. While being put back into the police cruiser, he kicked MacKinnon in the leg, later screaming that the officers “weren’t s—t without their badge and gun” and that he would “f—k them up.”

All told, the Lawrence man must answer to two assault and battery charges—one for the man in the park and one for Officer MacKinnon; one count of assault and battery with an dangerous weapon; one count of disorderly conduct and one count of defacing property.

He was also arrested four days prior, on July 6, by Det. Joseph Benedetti, on a warrant-related charge of disorderly conduct after an incident at Holy Family Hospital.

Defrancesco remains behind bars until his next court appearance on July 17 on order of Haverhill District Court Judge Patricia Dowling.

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