, Salem, MA

May 22, 2014

Man held after standoff with Beverly police


---- — BEVERLY — After days of drunken beatings at the hands of her boyfriend, during which he allegedly punched, bit and struck her with a hammer, the woman didn’t know what to do, she told police.

Then, on Monday, Stephen MacDougall, 45, passed out after ingesting a mixture of alcohol and pills. The woman called his father.

“Run,” MacDougall’s father told her.

It would be another day before the 40-year-old woman would get the courage to flee the home at 16 Fosters Point Road — touching off a standoff between police and Stephen MacDougall on a stairwell inside the home, where at one point, MacDougall allegedly yelled, “Shoot me.”

MacDougall is being held without bail until at least Friday, when a hearing to determine whether he poses a danger is scheduled in Salem District Court.

MacDougall pleaded not guilty at his arraignment yesterday on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (the hammer), assault and battery, two counts of assault and battery on a police officer and resisting arrest.

Police were called by a neighbor to the couple’s home shortly after 2 p.m., after the woman ran from the home, pursued by MacDougall, and yelled for help.

He briefly dragged her back toward the house, but when police arrived, MacDougall quickly ducked inside and locked the door.

His girlfriend told police that over the prior several days, MacDougall had repeatedly beaten, bitten and slapped her, struck her in the back with a hammer and yanked her hair.

Prosecutor Michael Varone told a judge that photos of the woman show extensive bruises all over the woman’s body.

When police asked if she was aware of any weapons in the home, she told them that a couple of days earlier, MacDougall had been searching for a gun.

MacDougall refused to answer the door, police said. Officers saw him through a window and yelled at him to show his hands.

“(Expletive) you,” MacDougall allegedly responded.

Police, concerned that he might have a gun, went into the home and found MacDougall on a stair landing, holding a black object that they initially suspected might be a weapon.

But he refused again to show his hands.

“Shoot me,” MacDougall allegedly yelled. “I want you to (expletive) shoot me.”

MacDougall ignored several blasts of pepper spray and struggled with two of the officers, Patrolmen Thomas Nolan and William Barror, who were eventually able to get him into custody.

As he struggled, MacDougall managed to get his pants down and began defecating on the officers as they carried him downstairs, according to the police report. He boasted about what he was doing as he went, police said.

All four officers who came into contact with MacDougall and their uniforms and boots had to be decontaminated of bodily fluids and fecal matter after the arrest. Nolan also reported injuries to his hand and ribs.

MacDougall has a lengthy history of substance abuse and involvement in the criminal justice system.

In 2009, he received a 31/2-year state prison term for his fourth drunken-driving conviction. After his release, he was found in 2011 to have violated his probation by testing positive for a range of drugs including cocaine, oxycodone and benzodiazapine, according to court records.

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