Haverhill Police Report Arrest of Knife-Wielding Car Theft Suspect; 19-Year-Old Held Without Bail

(Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News.)

A 19-year-old Haverhill man was ordered held without bail yesterday after allegedly elbowing a police officer in the face and threatening him and a detective with a knife Monday when they tried to arrest him for car theft.

Haverhill District Court Judge Patricia Dowling yesterday ordered Joshua Morley, 890 Amesbury Road, held without bail. His next court date takes place via Zoom Aug. 28. Morley was arrested Monday night, just before 8, and charged with assault and battery on a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, carrying a dangerous weapon, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, receiving a stolen vehicle and driving with a suspended license.

According to a report, Haverhill Police unsuccessfully attempted to arrest Morley three times earlier Monday on a warrant charging him with car theft. Three officers in separate cruisers later spotted Morley driving Chevy Impala, reported stolen out of New York. They observed him drive along Welcome Street, where he stopped, walked briefly into GAR Park and then returned to the car. Police Officer Michael Shinners approached him back at the car, exposing his badge and gun, while Morley, now seated in the car, attempted to shift the car into gear.

Shinners forced the car shift into park, while arriving Detective Jordan Bergevine grabbed Morley’s feet to keep him from accelerating. After Shinners turned off the ignition, the officer reported, Morley “became more frantic,” and his left elbow struck Shinners in the face, causing a bloody nose. Morley then reached into the center console and grabbed a Wild Turkey folding knife. Shinners, who described himself as “fearing for his own safety as well as Det. Bergevine,” grabbed Morley’s wrists while Bergevine punched the man in the face to get him to drop the weapon.

A woman in a nearby car reported, “Officers did what they had to do.” Morley refused medical attention.

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