Police Log

Stealing from the Salvation Army kettle

On Dec. 14, about 1 p.m, Officer Matthew Nelson was dispatched to Market Basket on Ft. Eddy Road to assist the Concord Fire Department with a Salvation Army bell ringer who appeared intoxicated and was acting strangely. When Nelson arrived, he saw a man, later identified as John Fitzpatrick, 46, of Concord walking away from the firefighters and heard him say, “Leave me alone.”

Nelson followed Fitzpatrick through the parking lot and could smell an “obvious odor of alcohol” coming from Fitzpatrick, who appeared unsteady on his feet, Nelson wrote. Fitzpatrick also held a silver thermos in his hand, which he told Nelson contained whiskey.

Fitzpatrick began to cry and told Nelson “that he was having a bad day,” the report said.

Nelson wrote that he asked for Fitzpatrick’s ID and observed a large amount of cash in his wallet. “I asked him if he’d been stealing money from the Salvation Army kettle, and he told me ‘no,’ that he had a job with the Salvation Army,” Nelson wrote. “Also inside of the wallet were several photocopied pictures of Britney Spears. I asked him if he liked Britney Spears and he told me ‘Yes, I am sort of her stalker.’ ”

When Officer Nelson told Fitzpatrick he would be arrested, Fitzpatrick began to struggle and pull away from the police, then he went limp and refused to stand, Nelson wrote. He struggled with the police when they tried to put him into the cruiser, and when inside, he put his foot in the door so that it wouldn’t shut, Nelson wrote.

While in the parking lot, Nelson was approached by a man who said he was on the board of directors for the Salvation Army, and that he’d come to relieve Fitzpatrick. At 10:30 a.m., the man told Nelson, he arrived at Market Basket and felt the kettle, which felt hefty, the report said.

“At the time of the arrest, when he got the kettle, he noticed that it was ‘physically lighter,’ then it was in the morning,” Nelson wrote. “I told him about the large sum of money that was in Fitzpatrick’s pocket and he said that . . . the ringers steal from them all the time,” Nelson wrote.

Fitzpatrick was transported to the Merrimack County House of Corrections, where his wallet was searched. Nelson wrote that he found $217 in ones, fives, tens and twenties. While at the jail, Fitzpatrick was uncooperative and “needed to be physically restrained in a chair,” Nelson wrote.

Fitzpatrick was charged with possession of alcohol, resisting arrest and theft and was held without bail.

Criminal trespass, disorderly conduct

On Dec. 11 about 1 a.m., Officer Nicole Murray was dispatched to Penuche’s for a report of two intoxicated males who had been cut off at the bar and were refusing to leave the premises.

Upon arriving, Murray made contact with Christopher Knight, 23, of Boston, and an unidentified friend. Both the men, she wrote, smelled strongly of alcohol. Murray offered to call a cab for the men and Knight “became agitated and stated ‘we’re walking,’ ” the report said.

Knight asked Murray several times why they had to leave. She explained that they were not permitted to be there because the bartender had kicked them out. Knight became increasingly agitated, wrote Murray, who again told Knight to leave immediately or he would be arrested.

“He continued to argue with me, stating, ‘I don’t see why.’ ”

Knight’s friend began pushing Knight through Bicentennial Square, “all the while telling him to leave so that no one would get in trouble,” Murray wrote. Knight, however, continued to argue that they should not be made to leave the bar.

“Knight became increasingly louder and was shouting that he should not have to leave,” and walked up to Officer Scott, who accompanied Murray, and got within a few inches of his face. He was warned again to leave immediately or be arrested, but he continued to yell, the report said.

The police put Knight in handcuffs and searched him. While Murray patted Knight down, Knight “made comments such as ‘Ooo’ and “Yeah, why don’t you talk to my girlfriend about what you’re doing,’ ” the report said.

On the way to the police station, Knight mocked the officers and said things like, “I bet this is your highlight of the night,” and “I’m glad we’re focusing on the people driving drunk,” the report said.

At the station, Knight mocked “nearly every phase of the booking process, refusing to answer standard questions at times,” Murray wrote. When given an opportunity to make a phone call, Knight became annoyed because he did not have his cell phone and did not know anyone’s phone number off the top of his head. “Do you know what time we live in,” he asked, according to Murray’s report.

Murray offered to get the numbers but explained that he could not access his phone while in the booking cell. Knight said “forget it,” and refused to use the phone, the report said.

Afterward, Knight met with the bail commissioner and “continued to display rude and sarcastic behavior.” The commissioner explained that if he didn’t stop, he wouldn’t get bail and would go directly to jail. At the close of the bail process, the commissioner asked Knight for the $40 bail fee. Knight threw the money across the table and told the bail commissioner “You’re a douche.”

Knight was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespass and released that night. He is due in court on Jan. 11.

Cassie Pappathan

Author: Cassie Pappathan

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