SALEM — A Wilmington man has been charged with trying to run down a Salem police detective trying to make a traffic stop on Thursday evening.
Warren Kline’s lawyer says his 27-year-old client had no idea that either Daniel Tucker or Brian St. Pierre were police officers.
Not only are both men police officers, they’re the sons of the current and former Salem police chiefs, respectively.
The two were driving on Canal Street when they spotted Kline’s Nissan, which did not have a current inspection sticker. They then ran the plate and discovered that Kline, the owner, had a lengthy record.
The detectives followed the Nissan as it traveled into the Point neighborhood, making a quick stop on Perkins Street. One passenger ran into a house for less than a minute, then returned. The car continued on.
On Lynch Street, Tucker got out of his unmarked car, showing his badge, said prosecutor Lynsey Legier.
He ordered the driver to stop. But Kline instead backed up rapidly, said the prosecutor. When another car came up behind him, however, he then barreled forward, leading Tucker to jump out of the way.
Defense lawyer Ed Sargent said his client didn’t know that Tucker and St. Pierre, who had both gotten out of the car, were police officers and didn’t see badges.
He simply thought he was escaping two men with guns, said Sargent, noting that when a marked police car caught up with the Nissan on Harbor Street, Kline immediately stopped.
“What would you do if you saw two men with guns?” asked the defense lawyer.
Kline is a graduate of Arlington Catholic who made it most of the way through a bachelor’s degree at UMass Lowell before leaving school.
But a drug problem has led to a four-page criminal record.
Sargent said Kline met his passengers in a drug rehabilitation program and that they called him, needing a ride to do some “errands.” They made stops at Home Depot and Walgreens before their encounter with the police, said the lawyer.
The two passengers bailed out of the car and ran away, the defense lawyer said.
Judge Robert Brennan set bail for Kline at $5,000, the amount requested by the prosecutor, but denied her request to revoke Kline’s bail in a pending Lynn case, which involves misdemeanor motor vehicle charges.
Kline, who pleaded not guilty to charges of assault with a dangerous weapon, driving to endanger, failing to stop for police and failure to have a current inspection sticker, is due back in court on April 19.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.