SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

July 4, 2013

Vendor wants city license back

Hot dog seller accused of beating 86-year-old man

BEVERLY — City councilors are considering whether to reinstate the license of a hot dog vendor accused of beating and kicking an 86-year-old man last month.

John Doyle, 57, of 5 Blaine Ave., was arrested June 1 and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon on a person over 65 and with making threats to kill a witness.

The incident prompted police Chief Mark Ray to ask the City Council to suspend Doyle’s peddlers license, which allows him to sell hot dogs at Dane Street Beach on weekends and on River Street near the train station on weekdays.

The City Council voted to suspend his license on June 4. But this week, Doyle’s lawyer appeared before the council to ask them to lift the suspension and allow Doyle to resume his hot dog business.

Ronald Ranta said his client’s peddlers license should be restored because Doyle is making an attempt to solve his alcohol problem, which he said played a “substantial role” in the incident at the Italian Community Center. Since his arrest, Doyle has completed a detox program and attended a day treatment program, his attorney said, and he is now going to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

“He’s identified and addressed the core issue that has brought about this problem,” Ranta said.

Ranta said the incident was not related to Doyle’s work as a hot dog vendor. He said selling hot dogs is Doyle’s “sole source of income” and that he has “suffered substantially” from the suspension of his license.

According to the police report, Doyle and the victim were leaving the Italian Community Center on Rantoul Street when Doyle began punching the man in the head and face “without reason,” knocking off and breaking his glasses.

When the elderly man tried to get away by running through the parking lot, Doyle followed and continued to attack him, according to the report. At one point, witnesses said, Doyle knocked the man to the ground and kicked him.

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