Two Oak Bluffs fire officials are being credited with coming to the aid of State Trooper Dustin Shaw after a suspect allegedly pulled him to the ground and was fighting with him during an arrest on busy Barnes Road.
Richard Anderson, 40, of Oak Bluffs pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday in Edgartown District Court to charges of assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. He was also cited for failure to wear his seatbelt.
Anderson was released after posting $2,000 cash bail and was ordered to turn in his passport.
At 5:45 pm Friday, Trooper Dustin Shaw pulled Anderson’s vehicle over after a check showed Anderson’s right to operate a motor vehicle was suspended.
According to a police report, when Anderson was asked to get out of his pickup truck, he reached into a center console. “I was in fear that Anderson was attempting to obtain a weapon,” Shaw wrote.
Anderson allegedly popped something into his mouth and took a drink, according to the police report. Shaw suspects he was trying to swallow cocaine in a plastic bag after another bag with a white powdery substance was found during a subsequent search, according to the report.
When Anderson was pulled from the vehicle, “Anderson took hold of my uniform shirt and we both fell onto the ground in the roadway, landing on the pavement in the outbound travel lane,” Shaw wrote. “I repeatedly yelled and ordered Anderson to ‘stop resisting’ and ‘stop fighting.’”
Shaw called for assistance, but before backup arrived, Oak Bluffs Fire Chief John Rose and firefighter David Smith stopped and assisted Shaw in getting Anderson under control, according to the report.
Police also seized $700 in cash from the center console, as well as two cell phones.
According to the report, after he was bailed out at Dukes County jail, Anderson returned to the State Police barracks in Oak bluffs in an attempt to retrieve his phones. Shaw told him they were being held for evidence. “Anderson became increasingly more agitated and raising his voice demanding he needed his cell phones,” the report states. “I again explained to Anderson that his phones are seized as evidence of the crime he was arrested for. Anderson raised his hands in the air and stated, ‘I’ll admit that cocaine was mine. I’m guilty of that. But it’s for personal use.’”
Anderson allegedly berated the officers, including two Oak Bluffs officers who provided backup, before leaving without further incident.