A Gloucester man who has gone to court seeking to enforce a Civil Service Commission decision requiring that he be put back on the list of eligible candidates for police officer positions in the city now faces charges stemming from a pair of alleged incidents five years ago.
Richard Melanson, 34, pleaded not guilty to charges of domestic assault and battery, entering at night with intent to commit a felony and putting a person in fear, witness intimidation and assault with a dangerous weapon during his arraignment on Wednesday morning in Newburyport District Court.
He appeared in court in response to an Oct. 23 summons.
The complaint was filed by police after a former girlfriend of Melanson called them July 22, according to a police report included with the complaint. That's just days after Melanson had filed a complaint in Salem Superior Court seeking enforcement of the Civil Service Commission order restoring him to a hiring list for the Gloucester Police Department.
The woman, who had been in an "on again, off again" four-year relationship with Melanson, said that in June 2015, while trying to break up with him, Melanson became angry, then tried to stop her from leaving by cornering her, then by grabbing onto the window of her car as she attempted to leave, according to a police report.
Several months later, in September 2015, she said, she was with a new boyfriend (who later became her husband) when Melanson entered her home around 4 a.m. and stood over their bed, threatening that he had a gun and ordering the new boyfriend to leave, according to a police report. The woman said Melanson grabbed her phone, sent a text to the new boyfriend saying she would never see him again, then grabbed her by the arm for a period of time before leaving, according to the police report.
Asked why she did not report it, according to the report, she said she was "embarrassed" at the time, but now believes she was "damaged" and that it has weighed on her conscience. She also said while there had been no further incidents she was afraid of retaliation as a result of speaking to police agencies doing a background check on Melanson.
Melanson, who has worked for the Endicott College campus police, had been bypassed for a position on the Gloucester Police force, which pointed to several past incidents, including what appears to be the incident in which Melanson entered the home while the woman was there with her new boyfriend in 2015.
A Civil Service hearing officer concluded that Gloucester police had presented insufficient evidence from their investigation to justify bypassing Melanson, and ordered him restored to the list.
Gloucester police said in their report that they presented their findings to the district attorney's office. A criminal complaint and summons to appear was issued on Oct. 23 in Newburyport District Court.
While the complaint filed in Superior Court last summer was reported by The Gloucester Daily Times and and its sister paper, The Salem News, city officials were not served with the complaint until October, according to the court docket for that case.
Melanson's attorney, Edward Pasquina, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the new complaint.
Judge Peter Doyle did not set any bail for Melanson, who appeared in court in response to the summons.
Staff writer Dave Rogers contributed to this report.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.