SALEM — Salem police Sgt. Robert Lubas was on his way back to the police station after working a detail Tuesday afternoon when he saw a truck running a stop sign in front of him as he drove on Jefferson Avenue.
Since Lubas, though still in his uniform, was in his own vehicle and not a police car, all he could do was honk.
But, police say, that honk apparently was enough to set off Jon Michael Galvin.
The problem: Galvin, 22, of 8 Sunset Drive, Beverly, thought the honk came from another vehicle, police say. And at the next red light, Galvin decided to respond, police say, with his fists. As Lubas watched, Galvin hopped out of his truck and ran over to the car in front of him, then threw at least three punches at the driver before Lubas could intervene.
Now Galvin is facing charges that include assault and battery, driving without a license, and, after police found two phony $100 bills on him, possession of counterfeit money.
Salem District Court Judge Sabita Singh granted a request to hold Galvin without bail as a danger to the public until a hearing next Wednesday.
But was it road rage or simple jealousy?
Galvin’s lawyer, Christopher Beares, said his client knows the man he was accused of assaulting, because the man is now dating Galvin’s former girlfriend.
The two men, Beares said, had been involved in what he described as “mutual combat,” not road rage.
Salem police Lt. Conrad Prosniewski, who had filed the motion to detain Galvin as a danger, cited not only his alleged actions on Tuesday afternoon, but his record, which includes prior assault charges.
Singh agreed to hold Galvin until next week’s hearing, when Lubas and the victim are expected to testify.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.