, Salem, MA

December 18, 2013

Firefighter charged after scuffle


---- — SALEM — A Beverly Fire Department lieutenant is facing charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest following his arrest at a downtown Salem eatery Saturday night.

Lt. Matthew Kowalski, 36, of 36R West St., Beverly, pleaded not guilty to the charges at his arraignment yesterday in Salem District Court, where he was ordered to have no contact with witnesses while the case is pending.

Police were called to Tavern in the Square shortly after 9 p.m. on a report of a customer causing a disturbance.

According to a police report, a “belligerent” Kowalski was restrained by employees until police arrived.

Salem police Patrolman Dan Tucker struggled to get Kowalski into custody. Told he was being arrested, Kowalski announced that he was a Beverly firefighter and that there was no way he was going into a police cruiser, according to a police report.

He also struggled with police at the station, refusing to get out of the police cruiser, according to the report.

Kowalski suffered a cut on his head during the struggle and was taken to Salem Hospital for treatment, over his objection.

He repeatedly “antagonized” officers and hospital staff until he was released on personal recognizance, according to the report.

Kowalski remains free on personal recognizance pending his next court hearing in the case.

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