A Haverhill snowplow contractor was charged early Tuesday morning for allegedly assaulting the city’s highway superintendent after being passed over for work during recent storms.
Fifty-seven-year-old Daniel J. Murray, 224 Newton Road, was arrested at his home and charged with assault and battery on a person 60-years-of-age or older. According to a police report, Murray was said to have pushed Brian J. Zaniboni to the floor when the highway superintendent told him he wasn’t needed during the snowstorm. Sixty-five-year-old Zaniboni was taken by ambulance to Holy Family Hospital in Methuen where he was treated for back and shoulder pain.
Murray was arraigned yesterday in Haverhill District Court, where Judge Stephen Abany ordered him to have no contact with Zaniboni. Murray is scheduled to return to court in January for a pre-trial hearing.
According to Patrolman Richard St. Louis’ report, Murray went to the city’s Public Works garage on Primrose Street sometime after 1 a.m. A woman there said Murray was “visibly upset” and asked to see Zaniboni. “A few moments later, she heard a loud argument between the men,” and as St. Louis notes, “saw Daniel push Brian to the floor and walk away and leave in his vehicle.”
Summarizing an interview with Zaniboni, Patrolman Christian Guzman reported, “The argument was about Brian not calling and scheduling Daniel to plow for the City of Haverhill.” After being asked to leave, Zaniboni reports Murray “pushed him to the ground.” Telling police his side of the story, Murray said Zaniboni “wasn’t a man because he did not make the call.” He contends Zaniboni “got into his face yelling at him” and Murray only pushed back in self-defense. Police said, Murray “saw Brian fall and thought he was faking being injured.”
There is some history between the Murray family and the Public Works Department. In February 2017, Murray’s son worked for the department and was arrested for possession of Percocet. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, was suspended and agreed to enter a drug treatment program.