BY JULIE MANGANIS
---- — SALEM — Residents of a Loring Avenue apartment house told police that it was like living through a horror movie Tuesday night after an apparently deranged man tried to force his way into their apartment, looking for his former girlfriend, who had moved out months ago.
Stephen Haverty, 56, of Melrose was out on bail in a series of pending restraining-order-violation cases involving the same woman when he showed up at 219 Loring Ave. shortly before 10 p.m. and knocked on the first-floor apartment door, where his former girlfriend once lived, police said.
The resident there, who moved in after Haverty’s ex-girlfriend moved out, said she heard a knock at the front door but found no one there, according to a report by Salem Patrolman Thomas Cunningham. Then she heard yelling from the back of the house and quickly realized that someone was in the cellar, yelling, “I know you’re hiding her. I’ll kill you all. I’ll shoot you,” according to the report.
Then, the residents told police, Haverty ran upstairs to the second floor, grabbed a shovel from a hallway and tried to use it to break down the apartment door, as he continued to threaten that he was going to shoot everyone in the building.
The two men in the second-floor apartment said they leaned against the door, using all of their body weight to try to prevent Haverty from getting it open. Haverty broke the door but could not get in, according to the report. But the men said they also feared that Haverty was carrying a gun.
They thought that Haverty was still in jail after his prior arrests, including an incident in June when the former girlfriend found Haverty sitting on her front steps, in violation of a restraining order.
Haverty had already allegedly told the woman, “Tell the (police) I don’t give a (expletive) about any restraining order,” according to police.
Haverty was held in custody after that incident, and the woman subsequently moved out.
As police arrived at the Loring Avenue house on Tuesday night, they saw Haverty walking away from the home screaming, “I know you’re in there,” according to the report.
When Cunningham approached, Haverty allegedly yelled, “Get the (expletive) away from me.” As Cunningham reached for Haverty’s jacket, Haverty took two swings at the officer, breaking his glasses and leaving a cut on his face, according to police.
Haverty pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony, assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, threats to kill, and disorderly conduct.
He was ordered held without bail by Salem District Court Judge Robert Brennan pending a hearing on Jan. 16 to determine whether he poses a danger if released again.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.