Two people were arrested at an otherwise peaceful vigil at Five Corners in Vineyard Haven Monday. Eric Woods, 66, of Tisbury allegedly used the N-word before punching a teenager, according to a police report. The other person, 27-year-old Caleb Murray of Chilmark allegedly spit on and bit a police officer, attacked sheriff’s deputies, and threatened arson, the report states.
Murray is the son of actor and former Saturday Night Live comedian Bill Murray.
Some of the protestors watched as Caleb Murray was handcuffed ahead of Woods. During the tail end of Monday’s vigil, a commotion drew the attention of Tisbury Police to the vicinity of MV Glass off Lagoon Pond Road.
“There was a large crowd forming around a red Toyota Tacoma and yelling at the operator,” a police report states. “The large crowd was saying that he [Woods] punched someone in the face. Members of the crowd started to sit in front of the red Toyota…”
Sgt Max Sherman asked Woods to shut off the truck and place his keys on the dash, a report states. Sherman then got a brief account from Woods.
“Woods stated that he lost his temper and ‘swung’ at the other person involved,” the report states. Sherman spoke to the victim, a 19-year-old man, who was out of his car and behind Woods’ truck. “[The teen] stated Woods was giving the crowd the finger and yelling the ‘N-word.’ This is when [the teen] yelled from his car at Woods to stop being disrespectful. Woods then exited his vehicle, walked back to [the teen] while he was sitting in his vehicle and punched him in the left side of his face.”
Video footage shows a crowd riled at seeing Woods still sitting in his truck when Murray was handcuffed by police. They chanted “shame on you” at Woods, and openly questioned Tisbury police officers about why Woods was still in his truck. “Why’s he still in the truck?” one man shouts. “Get him out of the truck,” another protestor is heard screaming. Several of them implore officers to “do your job.” When they finally pulled Woods from the truck, there were hoots and hollers of approval.
In his report, Sherman states he returned to speak with Woods, heard glass break, and saw officer Mike Cutrer handcuffing Caleb Murray. Photography shows a window in Woods’ truck was broken but this isn’t mentioned in the report other than to state the vehicle was towed away to prevent further being “vandalized.”
Woods was also handcuffed and arrested.
Tisbury Police charged Woods with assault and battery and disorderly conduct. He was eventually released on personal recognizance and given an arraignment date.
Tisbury Police charged Murray with malicious destruction of property, a threat to commit a crime, three counts of assault and battery on a police officer, making terroristic threats, and disorderly conduct. Edgartown District Court Clerk-Magistrate Liza Williamson later threw out the charges of making terrorist threats and malicious destruction of property before Murray’s arraignment Tuesday. In the court document, Williamson wrote there was not probable cause that it was Murray who broke
the window in the truck. “Truck was surrounded by protestors, glass broke, Murray fell to his knees, but no nexus for [probable cause] for vandalism or [malicious] destruction,” Williamson wrote. On the charge of making a terrorist threat, she wrote that the actual charge “specifically excludes public demonstrations.”
While being transported to the Dukes County lockup after his arrest, Murray allegedly was uncooperative and spit on and bit Officer Cutrer, the police report states.
“Eventually Officer Cutrer was able to finish the transport to the jail, where [Murray] again became uncooperative, attacking deputies,” a report states. “After being put into a cell, he then used a piece of the cell to not only cut himself but cut the deputies.”
It does not appear the Dukes County Sheriff’s Office has taken out charges against Murray.
“At the jail, Murray was overheard by Officer [Edward] St. Pierre saying that once he got out of jail he was going to burn down all the [expletive] buildings,” a report states.
On Tuesday Murray was arraigned in emergency session before District Court Judge Benjamin Barnes. He was ordered held without bail until a bed was available in an evaluation facility, per Section 12, at which time he would be released to go to the facility.
Murray’s case was continued until July 31. Woods is slated for arraignment on June 29.
Murray is represented by Edgartown attorney Rob Moriarty. It’s unclear if Woods has retained a lawyer.