Fire officials help trooper in tussle with suspect

Richard Anderson was charged with assault and battery on a police officer, among other charges Friday. - Photo courtesy Dukes County Sheriff's Department

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.


  1. Wow! Thank you for stopping and helping Trooper Shaw! Personally it sounds to me as if maybe his bail should’ve been higher since he clearly has no respect for law enforcement!! Let’s stop slapping them on the wrist with these LOW BAILS!!! $2,000 for all those charges???? Makes me sick!!
    Thank you again!!

  2. I commend the firefighters for stopping to assist. I commend the trooper for restraint. He had every right to use whatever force necessary to subdue the subject. What kind of moron reaches into a console on a motor vehicle stop? Its a good way to get shot.

  3. ”the kind of people” seems like a racist dog whistle. ”what kind of moron” is an unfair characterization. Harassing an African American without probable cause is another example of police brutality. The man made a mistake and shouldnt be punished for personal use of a drug. We have no evidence he is a drug dealer. Finally, arresting for not using a seatbelt is trivial and shows disproportionate use of legal power. All of what I have said above is the usual refrain here on MV.

    • Andrew, a more careful read of the piece might fix some of your factual errors. He was cited for not wearing a seatbelt. It’s even in a separate sentence to distinguish that it’s a civil citation, not a criminal charge. The officer charged him with possession with intent to distribute and it will be up to a judge or jury to decide if there is enough evidence for that charge.

  4. Andrew seriously? How the heck can you possibly turn the article or any comment into a race issue? I’ve seen people make the EXACT same comment about “white drug dealers” I think the key words being DRUG DEALERS that’s what I’m sure was meant by “these type of people” I didn’t see anyone jump to the defense of the “white drug dealer” saying it was a race issue! And you’re INSANE with the whole “police brutality issue” HE ASSAULTED THE Officer!!!! People have been shot for far less than that! Let’s not turn a blind eye to the fact that he’s a drug dealer AND/OR user and committed a crime, several in fact, and make it a race & police brutality issue PLEASE!!!! ?

    • Kristen — Andrew is trying his first attempt at sarcasm/ irony. he thinks anytime a black man is accused of something the ‘liberals” will defend him, no matter what the situation. He thinks he doesn’t need anything to defend his racist arguments but the flag and the bible. He seeks to turn the tables , and portray the truth as a lie, the obvious as ambiguous, the ridiculous as logical. The reaction of most of my liberal friends to him is to say ” why bother with him?” But, in my last letter to the editor, I encouraged people to confront these kind of lies– Know your facts– use them– It’s time to make people like this social pariahs .

  5. In the interest of being politically correct, the term ‘drug dealer’ is outdate. Lets call him what the PC people would want…he’s an ‘unlicensed pharmacist’.

    • Not new—He is an “alleged” “unlicensed pharmacist” or drug dealer. Remember, our great leader stated many times that someone is innocent until proven guilty– And while trump would never say it, that even applies to people of color.
      And let me compliment you on your euphemism — very good..

      • Yes thankfully our ‘great leader’ believes in the presumption of innocence, unlike our former ‘dear leader’ who would operate under the ‘acted stupidly’ doctrine if it energized his ‘base’ (and always was proven wrong when doing so)

  6. Kristen and Mr Brennan I am sorry you didn’t see that my post is sarcastic and reflective of the liberal position of many on the island.

    • Andrew, what made you think Mr Brennan did not get that your post is sarcastic? Here merely pointed out that you used “factual errors,” (or alternative facts, sometimes called, “lies”) in your silly comment that went over like a lead balloon. Your ususal position of denigrating liberals as ridiculous, is not supported at all when you resort to exaggerations, distortions, and denying of reality, although I understand it’s what conseratives do.

    • Andrew– what is obvious about your ‘sarcastic” post is that you actually believe that liberals think this way.
      You may put words in our mouths but your stereotype of liberal positions is far from reality.

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