Port man charged in folding-chair dispute gets probation

  • In US
  • 2021-09-11 14:32:00Z
  • By The Daily News of Newburyport, Mass.

Sep. 11-NEWBURYPORT - A Hardy Street man accused of creating chaos when he sat in another person's lawn chair at Cashman Park over the summer was sentenced Friday to a year's probation and ordered to continue mental health therapy, according to Newburyport District Court records.

Earl L. Pierce, 60, admitted a judge or jury could find him guilty of disorderly conduct (subsequent offense), resisting arrest and negligent operation of a motor vehicle charges. He was found not responsible for speeding and responsible for failing to stop or yield.

In 2019, Pierce was sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to vandalizing property and assault charges stemming from a June 2019 incident when he smashed the front door of a neighbor's house with a metal rod while drunk, according to court records.

This year, at about 5 p.m. on July 20, Pierce sat down in a folding chair belonging to someone else near the river's edge. The perplexed owner asked Pierce why he was sitting in her chair and Pierce claimed the chair belonged to him and she had stolen it, according to police.

"He continued to yell as she asked him to remove himself from her chair. It was not until (the chair owner) informed Mr. Pierce that the police were being contacted that he got up from the seat," Officer Eric Marshall wrote in his report.

By the time police arrived, Pierce had begun driving away in a white Ford Focus. Pierce stopped driving when police caught up with him and got out of the car, continuing to insist the chair belonged to him. Pierce agreed to take a blood-alcohol level test and passed. Despite not being under the influence, Pierce was causing fear to the public, according to the report.

As Marshall and Officer Michael Wilichoski stepped away from Pierce, he walked back to his car and sped off. Officers began chasing him but temporarily lost him in a maze of streets.

It was only after about 20 minutes that his Ford Focus was found parked at the end of Colby Farm Road. By the time police arrested him, Pierce was covered in mud and grass and wearing only one shoe, according to Marshall's report.


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