Police Arrest Haverhill Man Accused in Machete Incident for Allegedly Threatening Teens Involved

(WHAV News file photograph.)

A Jackson Street man arrested for allegedly waving a machete at two teenagers who angered him during a Labor Day altercation has been arrested for witness intimidation, WHAV has confirmed.

Thirty-three-year-old Sotha Voeun was ordered to stay away from the two city teens after they had an argument inside Haverhill’s High Street Market Sept. 2 that began when one of the boys stepped on Voeun’s shoe and did not apologize. Calling police in fear for her sons’ safety, the boys’ stepmother told police Voeun left the store and allegedly returned with a machete in hand.

According to Haverhill Police Officer John Orsillo, Voeun “pulled a machete on the boys from across the street” while screaming at them and called them out asking to fight.

On Sept. 25, Orsillo spoke with the teens involved in the case again and learned that Vouen allegedly threatened them several times that day alone at Swasey Field. According to Orsillo, the teens allegedly saw Voeun drive by in a brown SUV four separate times, making threatening statements including “I’m blood, come fight me” and staring them down. One of the teens’ girlfriends told police she witnessed at least four other incidents of intimidation.

When questioned by police at his home, Vouen denied speaking with the teens and said he has avoided them since the initial incident. He did admit he was driving near Swasey Field when he “noticed (the teens) giving him the middle finger as he drove by” and drove by again to see which of the boys made the gesture but did not speak to them.

Arrested and charged with two counts of witness intimidation and two counts of threatening to commit a crime, Vouen was arraigned by Judge Patricia Dowling last week. She released him on his own recognizance and ordered him to stay at least 50 yards away from and have no contact with the teens while his case is being prosecuted.

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