, Gloucester, MA

April 2, 2013

Beating of dog spurs range of charges

By Marjorie Nesin
Staff Writer

---- — A Gloucester man faces charges including assault and battery on police, threats to kill, and animal cruelty, after two fast acting Gloucester residents intervened with the man allegedly beating the dog until police could arrive at the Stage Fort Park scene.

Michael S. Robinson, a 34-year-old Mt. Vernon Street resident, faces those charges and others after he was arrested and subsequently taken to the hospital by the Fire Department’s ambulance corps last Wednesday. The man told police he had taken medication for shingles and drank two pints of vodka before the arrest.

According to the police report released Monday, 21-year-old Gloucester Michael Williamson, a Gloucester High School graduate and now a cook at Friendly’s, saw Robinson’s pet rottweiler tied to a tree at Stage Fort Park and heard rustling in the bushes, but thought nothing of it until he had walked a ways away and heard the dog scream.

“Then I was at the tennis court area and I heard the dog scream, then I saw him kicking and attacking the dog, so I ran back to help,” Williamson said. “Before that, I was trying to keep an eye on [the situation] but when I heard the dog screaming, I knew I had to go.”

Meanwhile, a Gloucester woman who had been walking along the Boulevard and witnessed the incident had called police, according to the report.

Williamson, who has his own rottweiler-mix dog, confronted Robinson and Robinson swung a punch at the witness. Then Williamson punched Robinson in the face.

But police who arrived saw that as the two punches were thrown, Williamson’s punch was “in self defense.” Williamson said he had not intended to combat the man physically.

“I was just trying to stop him from attacking the dog. I didn’t actually want to fight him or anything, but I did get him in the nose,” Williamson said Monday.

Police said that, when officers then approached Robinson he was “posturing in a fighting stance,” and “agitated.” Robinson dared an officer to use Mace on him and, as officers tried to position themselves in a way that would allow them to handcuff Robinson, Robinson jumped away and continued to face the officer, police said. An officer sprayed the Mace — and Robinson laughed, according to police.

“Mr. Robinson showed experience in dealing with police and kept moving to keep us both in front of him,” Officer Marc Cecilio wrote in the police report.

Robinson has faced prior charges. He was convicted on a charge of breaking and entering a car for which he served eight days in jail in November. Robinson was charged with drunken driving in Manchester 2011. And, convicted in 2007 of assault and battery, breaking and entering and malicious destruction of property in Gloucester District Court.

Backup police officers arrived Wednesday and one wrapped his arms around Robinson’s legs and used a shoulder to push him to the ground from behind, so officers could handcuff Robinson.

Gloucester Fire Rescue arrived and transported Robinson to Addison Gilbert Hospital, where the man reportedly became “very angry and violent,” threatening to kill the four officers and their families. Robinson told one of the four that he would not only kill the man and his family, but “chew off all your faces,” too, police said.

Police said hospital personnel had to sedate Robinson in order to secure a four-point restraint.

The Police Department’s veterinarian examined Robinson’s dog, but the veterinarian was unable to provide the dog’s medical records. The animal control officer at the department does not work on Mondays so was not immediately available for comment on the dog’s condition. Robinson faces charges of animal cruely, assault, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, threats to kill and assault and battery on a police officer.

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at