, Salem, MA

Local News

January 31, 2013

Suspect: Cop's injuries a 'mystery'

DANVERS — The Level 3 sex offender charged with stabbing a Danvers patrolman in what prosecutors called an “ambush” in 2011 yesterday claimed to a judge that it’s a “mystery” how the officer got his potentially fatal wounds to his neck and arms.

Roy Limbaugh, 59, is representing himself on charges that include attempted murder, multiple assault and battery counts, and failing to register as a sex offender, after firing a series of court-appointed attorneys.

Yesterday, he argued a motion to dismiss the charges against him, claiming that the grand jury that indicted him did so on insufficient evidence. That motion was quickly denied by Salem Superior Court Judge Howard Whitehead.

But during his argument, Limbaugh insisted that he was the victim of a “savage” beating by John Melto on the morning of Aug. 19, 2011, and never stabbed or slashed the veteran patrolman.

Limbaugh told the judge that when he demanded to know whether Melto was the officer who had been knocking on his door that morning, Melto went on the attack.

Limbaugh claimed that Melto repeatedly struck him with a baton (or “billy club” as Limbaugh called it) in the head and torso, nearly broke his thumb in the car door, and pepper-sprayed him. He claimed that Melto cut his hand on the side mirror of the Volkswagen.

So how did he end up covered in Melto’s blood, one might ask.

“I grab his billy club, now his hand is cut,” Limbaugh told the judge. “That’s how I got his blood on me.”

Limbaugh claimed the officer did not have any wounds to his throat or arms when he drove away.

“It’s a mystery,” Limbaugh insisted. “I don’t know what took place after I left.”

Limbaugh was arrested after another driver on Route 24 on the South Shore looked over at his car and saw him covered in blood.

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