SALEM — As the distraught woman’s screams and pleas for help echoed from the laptop computer’s speakers in a Salem District courtroom yesterday afternoon, even the judge winced.
“Let me out of the truck, please, please,” begged the crying woman, over and over, as her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Robert Scribner, headed through Salem on the evening of May 18. “Let me out ... don’t kill me. Help. Let me out of the truck. Let me out of here.”
As Salem police dispatcher Mike Griffin continued trying to elicit information about who the woman was and where they were, she screamed, “Please, please help.”
And then Scribner’s voice is heard, somewhat muffled on the recording. He makes reference to going “off a (expletive) bridge,” seconds before the 911 call from the woman’s cellphone abruptly ends.
Prosecutors and police say that Scribner, 43, threatened to throw the woman from a bridge that night, after kidnapping her during a discussion about their troubled five-year relationship.
“The defendant had plans that night,” said prosecutor Lindsay Shaheen. “If she wasn’t going to be with him, she wasn’t going to be with anyone.”
The threats that night were the culmination of years of abuse, including reported incidents in 2012, in which Scribner was accused of choking the woman and giving her a black eye, and in 2013, when he was charged with shoving her onto a sofa and threatening her. While on pretrial probation in that case, last September, Scribner allegedly got into a fight with another man, a neighbor, when he saw the woman talking to him.
“This is a woman who has been beaten down for five years,” said Shaheen, who urged the judge to hold Scribner without bail as a dangerous person while he awaits trial on kidnapping, domestic assault and battery, and threats charges. “This is a defendant who is not going to stop.”