Suspect in alleged assault is charged

Police say alleged attack may have been motivated by sexual orientation.

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First responders in Tisbury tend to a man who was allegedly assaulted inside Stop & Shop Wednesday afternoon. - Lucas Thors

Updated April 30

Tisbury Police have identified, located, and charged the suspect involved in an alleged assault and battery that took place inside Stop & Shop at approximately 4:50 pm Wednesday. Police believe the alleged attack was partially motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation, Police Chief Mark Saloio told The Times.

Mark Faulkingham, 56, no permanent address, pleaded not guilty Friday in Edgartown District Court to charges of assault and battery for the purpose of intimidation, and property damage for the purpose of intimidation, both of which are felonies. He is also being charged with assault and battery, and malicious destruction of property. Bail was set at $200.

New details of the case emerged Tuesday with the release of the police report. According to police, the victim was approached by a “tall, bald, white male with a backpack” who demanded the victim give back a phone, saying it was stolen.

Faulkingham was repeatedly quoted in the report as using a derogatory word referring to the victim’s sexuality.

The report says Faulkingham struck the victim in the jaw with his elbow before stomping on his glasses, which fell to the floor.

After the assault, the victim asked a Stop & Shop employee to call 911. An assistant manager told him to walk across the parking lot to the police department if he wanted the police to respond. “If you want the police, you can go get them and bring them here,” the assistant manager allegedly told the man, according to the report.

Police weren’t at the station because it was after hours, according to the report. They were alerted to the altercation by a woman who called 911 and met the victim on Main Street before taking him to the hospital.

On the police department’s Facebook page, a bulletin was posted with a picture of Faulkingham, who had not yet been identified, and a general broadcast was sent out to locate him. The screenshots were taken as the man checked out at Stop & Shop.

According to Chief Mark Saloio, Faulkingham contacted the police station Thursday afternoon after he learned that officers were searching for him. Faulkingham agreed to be interviewed at the station by officers Pierce Harrer and Charlie Duquette.

Faulkingham allegedly admitted to the assault, and also admitted to stepping on the other man’s glasses, Saloio said. “There was clearly a verbal dispute between both parties that led to illegal physical contact,” Saloio said.

Faulkingham told police his friend had recently had a cellphone stolen from him, and he believed the victim was the one who took it, accusing the victim of talking about “nude photographs” on the cellphone. Faulkingham did not know his friend’s name or the victim’s name, according to the report.

An updated bulletin was posted on the Tisbury Police Facebook page notifying the public that the suspect has been identified and located.

According to Saloio, the victim was treated at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital for minor injuries resulting from the altercation.

Updated with new details from police report – Ed.