By Dave Rogers
---- — SALISBURY — A Haverhill woman and her Lawrence boyfriend face assault and battery charges after police say they punched a Salisbury Beach lifeguard in the face Sunday afternoon in front of hundreds of beachgoers near the Ocean Front section of the crowded beach.
Erin E. Mulcahy, 24, 57 Third St., Haverhill, was arrested and charged with assault and battery on a public employee, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Her boyfriend, Shawn W. Duncan, 42, 81 Hawley St,. Lawrence, was issued a summons for assault and battery on a public employee and disorderly conduct. Minutes later, he was arrested on two charges of intimidating the 20-year-old lifeguard from Haverhill, according to police.
Both were arraigned yesterday at Newburyport District Court and are expected to return on Aug. 26 for pretrial hearings. Mulcahy was released on personal recognizance, while Duncan was released after posting $100 bail. Judge Peter Doyle ordered the defendants to stay away from Salisbury Beach and stay away from the victim and witnesses.
According to police, the incident began around 2:45 p.m. when Duncan ordered the lifeguard to stop blowing his whistle at swimmers because it was aggravating his hangover. The lifeguard tried to explain he was merely doing his job. But that did little to appease the 6-foot-5-inch Duncan, who dumped a bucket of water on the lifeguard’s head before punching him once on the right side of the face, police say.
By the time state Trooper Allyson Powell, stationed inside the Salisbury Beach Reservation, arrived near Lifeguard Station 22, a crowd of about 300 people had gathered around Mulcahy and Duncan. Mulcahy was yelling as she tried to approach the lifeguard, as well. Witnesses said they saw Mulcahy push the lifeguard down and then punch him on the chin after Duncan had attacked him, according to Powell’s report.
After telling Duncan she was going to issue an assault and battery summons against him, Powell placed Mulcahy, who smelled of alcohol, in handcuffs, eliciting applause from the crowd. As she escorted her to her cruiser for transport to the Salisbury police station, Powell said Mulcahy resisted and threatened to beat her up, as well. Assisting Powell at the scene was Salisbury police officer Mark Thomas.
By the time police had transported Mulcahy to the station, Duncan had walked over to the building and sat down on a fence across the street. As the lifeguard walked by him to make a statement to police, Duncan twice threatened to do him harm, according to the report of Salisbury police Sgt. Eugene Scione.
“Now I know who you are,” Duncan said, prompting Scione to arrest him and charge him with two counts of intimidating a witness.