School Gun Aftermath: Haverhill Officials Discuss Security Issues Behind Closed Doors

Members of the Haverhill School Committee went behind closed doors this morning to meet with Haverhill Police to discuss issues related to last week’s report of a teenager with a gun at Haverhill High School. A week ago, Monday, a 16-year-old Haverhill High sophomore was arrested by Haverhill Police and charged with carrying a firearm without a license, trespassing, carrying a dangerous weapon on school grounds and possession of a class E drug. As WHAV previously reported, the juvenile was one of several hundred at the Monument Street building July 29 when a security guard is said to have glimpsed him with the gun and he ran, allegedly tossing the weapon outside of campus. He was taken into custody about a mile away near the intersection of North Broadway and Broadway. City councilors last night heard some details from Mayor James J. Fiorentini and school Superintendent Margaret Marotta.

Haverhill Council Leaves Student Gun Questions Unanswered; Officials Report Missteps

There was no emergency 911 call last week when a Haverhill High student was spotted allegedly with a gun, the item may not have been a gun at all and an initial lockdown of the school was quickly halted when police reported they had the teenager in custody. These were among very few questions answered Tuesday night as Haverhill city councilors reviewed circumstances surrounding the gun-related arrest of a 16-year-old summer school student. Other key questions were overlooked and new ones prompted as Mayor James J. Fiorentini and school Superintendent Margaret Marotta stood before councilors. “I believe in this situation the SRO (school resource officer) was contacted rather than 911 being called because things happened so quickly and simultaneously that the student was apprehended almost as quickly as things were happening in real time,” Marotta told members. The superintendent explained she first learned of the incident when she received a telephone call from Principal Glenn Burns.

Safety Plans, Audit on the Way as Local Leaders Take Action in Wake of HHS Gun Incident, Student Arrest

In the wake of July 29’s arrest of a Haverhill High sophomore for allegedly bringing a gun onto campus, Mayor James J. Fiorentini and local leaders are taking action, starting with Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. At that session, Fiorentini and Haverhill Public Schools Superintendent Margaret Marotta plan to outline existing school security measures and detail plans to hire an outside security firm to complete an audit of Haverhill High School. Plans for that audit were already underway prior to last Monday, when a 16-year-old allegedly brought a gun into a summer school session attended by hundreds of other students before being arrested off-campus. Fiorentini said a teacher and security guards spotted the teen with the weapon before he fled the Monument Street campus. He allegedly tossed it before he Haverhill Police caught up with him on Broadway.

Police Arrest Haverhill Woman Four Months After She Was Allegedly Caught with Cocaine

A View Street woman was arrested by Haverhill Police Thursday for driving with a suspended license four months after facing a judge on a cocaine possession charge. Thirty-one-year-old Krystal Duke was taken into custody on Blaisdell Street at 7:30 p.m. on the new charge, according to a Haverhill Police arrest log obtained by WHAV. Duke’s arrest comes four months after she was locked up following what Haverhill Police say were two consecutive drug deals on Haverhill’s River Street. In April, Narcotics Unit Det. Dana Burrill Jr. and his team were conducting surveillance when they came upon Haverhill’s Michael Brulport and Plaistow, N.H.’s Robert Gill meeting up with Duke in the Red Hen Market parking lot.

Haverhill Police Seize Fentanyl, Knife During Drug Arrests of Out-of-Town Duo

Haverhill Police seized suspected fentanyl, a crack pipe, a knife and other paraphernalia when arresting two men at the River Street Dunkin’ Donuts this week. Twenty-eight-year-old John Clarke of Ipswich, and 29-year-old Brian Dow of Amesbury, were taken into custody just after 6 p.m. July 29 after narcotics detectives working in uniform in unmarked cruisers saw Clarke park and enter the shop while Dow waited outside in the car. According to Det. Dana Burrill, Clarke appeared nervous when approached inside the coffee shop, making furtive eye movements “as if looking for an opening to run.” When searched by police, Clarke was found to be in possession of a knife and two bags of suspected fentanyl. Passenger Dow initially refused to give police his name—perhaps due to an outstanding drugged driving-related warrant—but later complied.

Methuen Officer Allegedly Stole From Patrolman’s Union: ‘Staggering Abuse of Trust,” Says Solomon

A Methuen Police patrolman has been indicted on larceny and embezzlement charges after he allegedly embezzled and stole money from the Methuen Patrolman’s Union from 2015 to April 2019, Methuen Police Chief Joseph E. Solomon said Wednesday. Indicted by an Essex County Grand Jury Wednesday on two counts each of larceny over $1,200 by a single scheme and embezzlement from a voluntary association, 54-year-old Mark Whitaker served as the treasurer of the police patrolman’s union at the time of the alleged thefts. He was placed on paid administrative leave in April after an unrelated matter, Solomon said. According to a press release from Solomon, Mayor James P. Jajuga and Essex County District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett, Whittaker’s actions were discovered when other officers took over financial duties for the Patrolman’s Association. Solomon calls Whittaker’s actions an abuse of trust.

Teen Who Brought Gun to HHS Faces Drug Possession, Weapons Charges: DA

The 16-year-old Haverhill High sophomore arrested Monday after school staff reportedly caught him with a gun has been arraigned in Lawrence Juvenile Court. The Essex County District Attorney’s office tells WHAV the teen faces several weapon- and drug-related charges as a result of the incident. Facing a judge Monday, the juvenile has been charged with carrying a firearm without a license, trespassing, carrying a dangerous weapon on school grounds and possession of a Class E drug, District Attorney Jonathan W. Blodgett’s spokeswoman Carrie Kimball said. While Kimball did not specify the type of drug involved, class E drugs may include codeine, Percocet, Adderall or anti-anxiety drugs, for example. As WHAV previously reported, the juvenile was one of several hundred at the Monument Street building July 29 when security glimpsed him with the gun and he ran, allegedly tossing the weapon outside of campus, School Department spokesman Shawn Regan said.

Fiorentini: ‘Completely Unacceptable’ Student Allegedly Brought Gun to HHS Summer School

Mayor James J. Fiorentini is renewing his commitment to student safety after a 16-year-old Haverhill High teen allegedly brought a gun to the summer school session on Monday. As WHAV previously reported, the juvenile was apprehended and arrested by Haverhill Police on July 29 after a school security guard eyed him with the weapon and he ran from campus. School department spokesman Shawn Regan told WHAV the campus—which held hundreds of students attending a variety of programs at the time—was swept by State Police out of an abundance of caution before it was declared safe. They were aided in the effort by Methuen’s Officer Michael Havey Jr. and K-9 Rumi and Officer Tim Getchell and K-9 Buddy. In a social media post late Monday, Fiorentini said the search for the weapon resumes Tuesday.