SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

March 21, 2014

Man, 22, charged in assault on dog-walker

BEVERLY — A former tow-truck driver awaiting trial on charges of credit-card fraud has been charged with attacking a 52-year-old East Boston man after the man asked him and his friends to stop swearing in front of children at Dane Street Beach earlier this month.

Daniel Robichau, 22, of 279 Andover St., Danvers, pleaded not guilty yesterday to a charge of assault and battery during his arraignment in Salem District Court, where he was also making an appearance in the credit-card fraud case.

Robichau was one of a group of four young people, including Nicholas Skoniecki, 21, of 4 Duck Pond Road, Beverly, who were hanging around Dane Street Beach on East Lothrop Street on the evening of March 8. They, along with another man in his 20s and a teenage girl, were yelling profanities.

The East Boston man, who was there walking his dog, told police that he told the youths to knock it off because there were children around.

Instead, prosecutor Lindsay Shaheen told Judge James Barretto, one of the young men, later identified as Robichau, made a motion as if he were about to kick the man’s dog.

The man got closer to his dog to protect it, according to police. Then, Robichau punched him in the chest, knocking the man to the ground.

Robichau, confronted by police afterward, admitted punching the man but claimed that the man had grabbed his jacket, Shaheen told the judge.

Sean Wynne, who represents Robichau in both of his pending cases, said his client denies being the aggressor and that the older man was about to “sic” his dog on Robichau when Robichau shoved him.

He also pointed out that police did not arrest Robichau at the scene, instead opting to send him a summons to appear in court.

It was for that reason that Barretto denied a request to revoke Robichau’s release in his earlier credit-card fraud case.

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