By Marjorie Nesin
---- — One person did this, another did that, and all in all, police arrested 17 people on or around the grounds of St. Peter’s Fiesta activities, police reports indicated Monday.
But while police reported no injuries, residents expressed concern about the department’s use of K9 dog units over the weekend.
One person filed an official complaint against the police’s use of a K9 unit at the Fiesta Pub on Rogers Street at 1:30 Sunday morning. The report was unavailable because the investigation is ongoing, police said, and the complainant, when contacted by the Times, declined to comment for the same reason.
Police Chief Leonard Campanello addressed concerns he had heard from business owners and residents in a press release Monday.
“I can tell you that I am evaluating that response with the input I have heard from my officers, establishment owners, and citizens I have heard from,” he said.
Campanello, who took over the chief’s post last August and was deploying his department for Fiesta for the first time, urged residents to contact him if they had concerns about the use of muzzled K9s outside of bars at closing times.
“There is perspective in every police matter, especially when managing a crowd of thousands across several establishments who may have been consuming alcohol, and sometimes those perspectives can differ,” he said.
The online community rushed to social media pages to post cell phone footage of the events that unfolded as the bars and pubs emptied Saturday night into Sunday. In one video an officer pulls a flailing man to the ground, while one woman gasps “Oh my God!” and a man shouts “What is going on?”
Another video shared at least 123 times on Facebook features an officer taking down a man after the man waves an obscene gesture in the officer’s face. The yellow-shirted man waves a select finger in an officer’s face while walking by police, each holding a K9 leash.
The officer then grabs the man’s shirt collar from behind, holding the barking dog’s leash in one hand and the man’s shirt collar in the other. He pulls the man towards him and the man falls to the ground, where two officers clad in street clothes handcuff him with knees momentarily on his back.
Chief Campanello wrote in his statement that his office has received no reports of injuries resulting from arrests or disruptive behavior and all arrests had resulted from misdemeanor crimes.
“We had a low number of arrests for the very specific reasons that I outlined before the Fiesta,” Campanello said. “We were not going to tolerate any one who decides to become a disruptive influence on an otherwise enjoyable and fun family event.”
While this year’s arrest list was more sparsely populated than in some years past — there were 27 arrests in 2010 — the weekend arrests included charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct and assault.
David P. Collins, 50, was arrested and charged with malicious property destruction over $50 and resisting arrest, after a scuffle that led to police and Collins getting pepper spray in their eyes and one officer’s uniform pants being torn.
Officers were drawn toward Collins after seeing him allegedly jumping up and down on the roof of a Gray Toyota Highlander and screaming, then smashing the vehicle’s windshield with his foot in the area of the Birdseye Lot Sunday about 5:37 p.m.
Police said Collins swore at officers, told them he would not submit to arrest, and moved forward toward an officer after being commanded to step away. While officers were attempting to take Collins into custody, one officer used pepper spray, which he then got in his own eye, too.
Perkins Street resident Bryan R. Andersen, 33, faces charges of disorderly conduct, assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest, after he allegedly “shoved” an Essex County Sheriff’s Deputy Saturday about 1 a.m. After allegedly shoving the man, Andersen challenged him to a fight, spat on another officer, kicked at officers and made threats to kill police during his arrest.
A 40-year-old Rockport man was arrested at Fiesta Sunday night about 10:30, after he allegedly punched a woman’s head multiple times inside of his vehicle then “slammed” the woman against another parked vehicle.
That man, Caoin H. Sullivan of South Squam Hill Road, was arrested after his two children ran to tell someone that they had witnessed their father’s actions. Police filed a report with the Department of Children and Families after arresting Su
James S. Brooks, a 24-year-old Mount Pleasant Avenue man, was arrested after police told him to stay clear of K9 dogs outside of the police’s Fiesta headquarters and he refused, almost stepping on one dog. Brooks allegedly cursed at officers “several” times before he was arrested Saturday just after midnight for disorderly conduct.
Two men, 21-year-old John Requejo of Cleveland Street and 20-year-old Kevin Frazier of Veterans Way, were arrested Sunday about 9:20 p.m., after police saw them perched on a Gould Court wall allegedly drinking large bottles of beer. Requejo faces charges of drinking in public and of procuring alcohol to a minor and Frazier is charged with public drinking and being a minor in possession of alcohol.
Trask Street resident James D. Wonson, 49, was arrested when police found him “highly intoxicated” in front of Our Lady Good Voyage Church and allegedly yelling in a “warlike voice” while struggling to stand upright Sunday about 9:15 p.m. Wonson was charged with disorderly conduct.
Laurence K. Avanzino, a 42-year-old Essex Avenue man, was arrested outside of the House of Mitch and charged with disorderly conduct Saturday about 9:51 p.m. Officers saw bouncers remove Avanzino from the bar. Avanzino then allegedly yelled obscenities at the bouncers, refused to leave and spit at a bouncer, leading the police to arrest him.
State police arrested two men allegedly fighting in the middle of the Commercial Street roadway Friday about 11:32 p.m. The men, 22-year-old Dakota J. Lewis of Arthur Street and 18-year-old Reese C. Lambert of Flume Road were charged with disorderly conduct.
Another man, 28-year-old David R. Gaskill, was arrested for disorderly conduct after he allegedly became “uncooperative” and “loud” while police towed his vehicle that was parked on Commercial Street in a no parking zone Saturday about 1:17 a.m. Police said Gaskill was “highly intoxicated” and unable to drive.
Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at email@example.com.