SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 4, 2014

Man held in gun threat case

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALEM — A man who had been working with his probation officer on “anger issues” lashed out in court yesterday at a judge who had just ordered him held in custody on new charges that he threatened a man with a gun Sunday.

Luigi Fernandez, 24, of 12 Pope St., Salem, yelled, “Just give me six months. I’m done.” Then he complained to his probation officer, “You know I’ve been trying, man,” as he was led out of the courtroom at Salem District Court yesterday afternoon following his arraignment in the new case.

Salem police Lt. Conrad Prosniewski said Fernandez was with his girlfriend and their baby daughter on Aborn Street Sunday evening, yelling at passing cars, when a resident opened his window and yelled at him to stop shouting because he also had a baby he was trying to get to sleep.

Instead quieting down, police say, Fernandez shouted back at the resident that he had a gun, lifting his shirt and challenging the man to a fight.

Both the resident and another neighbor who heard the exchange called 911.

Police caught up with Fernandez, his girlfriend and their baby on Boston Street, near the Shell gas station. They did not find a gun but, based on the alleged statements described by the two residents, charged him with assault with a dangerous weapon, a gun.

Prosniewski said Fernandez, who has ties to Bronx, N.Y., has been arrested a number of times by Salem police on charges that include assaults. He has also been charged in New York, including menacing and weapons charges brought against him in January.

His probation officer, Sean Whalen, said Fernandez had referred to having a gun in one of his earlier cases.

Chris Beares, who represented Fernandez yesterday, said he “flatly denies” ever having or showing a gun. He described the exchange between his client and the other man as “a back and forth.”

Beares said his client has been doing well on probation, holding down a job busing tables at Tavern in the Square and supporting his girlfriend and their daughter.

He said his client could afford no more than $300 bail.

Judge Matthew Machera granted both Prosniewski’s request for $2,500 bail and the probation officer’s request to hold Fernandez in custody until a probation violation hearing.

That’s when Fernandez lost his cool.

He continued to yell at court officers from a holding cell just outside the courtroom, a tirade that could be heard through the closed steel door.

He’s due back in court on March 21.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.