SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

May 9, 2014

Homeless man charged with breaking into motel

Suspect said he had permission to shower in mother's room

BY JULIE MANGANIS
STAFF WRITER

---- — SALEM — It could be an awkward Mother’s Day this weekend for one Salem man and his mother.

Police arrested Matthew Rodgers, 33, who is homeless, in a room at the Clipper Ship Inn Wednesday evening on charges of breaking and entering with intent to commit a felony.

But all Rodgers took, said his attorney, was a hot shower.

“He didn’t steal anything,” argued defense lawyer Patrick Regan. “He just took a shower.”

The report by Salem police Patrolman Gil Priddy confirms that Rodgers was damp and had wet hair when police arrived.

Rodgers admitted entering the room, which was being rented by his mother, through an unlocked rear window, according to police and prosecutors.

Another guest at the motel heard a noise and called the manager, who went to the room and walked in on a man taking a shower. He called police.

Rodgers said he had his mom’s permission to freshen up in the room she has been renting since losing her home. He had been living with his mother before she had to move to the hotel, his attorney said.

But police said that when they contacted his mother, she said that while she had plans to meet her son later that evening, she had not given him permission to use the bathroom in her motel room.

Prosecutors asked for a small amount of cash bail for Rodgers, noting that he has nine court defaults on his record.

Judge Michael Lauranzano released him without setting bail and scheduled a pretrial hearing for June 25.

Rodgers left court with a man who identified himself in court as his father.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.