Haverhill Man, 81, Allegedly Strikes, Drags Insurance Contractor in Road Rage Incident

(File photograph.)

An 81-year-old Brook Street man was arrested and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after Haverhill Police say he allegedly struck and dragged a New Bedford man who was double-parked on downtown’s Emerson Street last week.

According to Officer Daniel Trocki, Frederick Bemis is said to have left the scene of an accident July 18 after getting into an altercation with insurance contractor Michael Knabbe. In a police report, Trocki said the driver behind Knabbe—later identified as Bemis—became upset and yelled at him to move along as he double-parked outside a property to snap a photograph for his job.

The duo exchanged words and when 60-year-old Knabbe went up to Bemis, Bemis “turned the motor vehicle toward him, striking him.”

In the process, Knabbe became nearly pinned between Bemis’ car and other parked cars, and was dragged almost 40 feet. Trocki also said Bemis “created a substantial risk of danger to the public.”

Several witnesses heard the duo yelling and others saw the man on the ground or being dragged. During the altercation, Knabbe was able to get a partial glimpse of Bemis’ license plate, and told police he may have damaged his passenger side mirror while being dragged, which helped Trocki identify the car in question.

Found at his home, Bemis denied striking Knabbe with his car, but did admit he got into an argument about double parking. “Bemis stated he and Knabbe were both in the wrong,” Trocki said.

At arraignment July 19, Bemis faced one count each of negligent operation of a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of person injury and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. Haverhill District Court Judge Patricia Dowling released him on house arrest with GPS monitoring—only to leave home for doctor’s appointments—until his next court appearance in mid-August.

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