An 18-year-old Haverhill man has been charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and other charges in connection with alleged white supremacist intimidation at last month’s “Black & Brown Owned Outdoor Market” downtown and earlier at a Kenoza Avenue church.
Justin A. Milaszewski, of 19 Sixth Ave., Haverhill, was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon—a bb gun, property damage to intimidate, defacing property and threat to injure at a church. He was arrested by Detective Rick Welch Monday morning in vicinity of the Herbert H. Goecke Memorial Parking Deck on Merrimack Street.
As WHAV first reported June 29, organizers of the “Black & Brown Owned Outdoor Market” said a witness saw “three openly armed men” placing racist stickers on cars during the downtown Haverhill event. The action forced them to postpone a similar event in North Andover.
In court documents, Haverhill Police said Milaszewski “acted with the other suspects June 27” by defacing several traffic light poles and light poles at the Central Plaza shopping center and displaying a “black handgun” placing a person “in fear for his safety.” Police said the department became aware of a social media post, but did not receive any telephone calls or first-hand reports on the day of the market, which took place on the boardwalk behind 44 Merrimack St.
Police were able to talk with the woman who first notified organizers of the intimidation. She told police she and a male friend followed three men—one with a Nazi-type symbol on his T-shirt—and saw another place a “Patriot Front” white supremacist sticker on a car parked on Merrimack Street. The friend followed the men to nearby Market Basket where the man with the Nazi symbol noticed him and lifted his shirt to display a handgun in his waistband. He said the men appeared to leave the parking lot in a red, older model pickup truck.
Recordings from surveillance cameras downtown backed the witnesses’ reports.
A coincidental incident earlier that day saw police dispatched to help a man in Washington Square in need of some form of medical treatment. The man was carrying 50 propaganda pamphlets on “healthy white living” and 40 to 50 white supremacy “Creativity Movement,” stickers, matching ones found June 21 on the Universalist Unitarian Church of Haverhill. The man, later identified as Milaszewski’s father, said he didn’t put the stickers on the church, but knew who did.
Armed with a warrant, police searched the Milaszewski home Monday and found stickers and clothing matching witnesses’ descriptions.
At his arraignment Monday, Haverhill District Court Judge Mary McCabe ordered Milaszewski to surrender any firearms and return to court Aug. 24.