After the delivery truck was towed, Limbaugh called Williamson but then failed to show up at the police station for an interview. The day before the attack, Melto went to Limbaugh’s address and confiscated the plates from the RV and the Ford Explorer, Shea said.
The following morning, Melto parked his cruiser at Manter Construction at 20 Popes Lane. At 5:15 a.m., he saw a light go on in the mobile home, so he walked over and knocked on the door, Shea said.
“‘Danvers police, I’m looking for Roy Limbaugh,’” Melto said, according to Shea. A voice answered back, “No, he’s not here.” Shea said the officer announced through the door that he had a warrant for Limbaugh’s arrest and that it would be easier for everyone involved if he cooperated. The voice asked Melto “‘to get off my property,’” Shea said. Melto walked back to his cruiser.
Surveillance cameras show that, unbeknownst to Melto, Limbaugh left and got into a red Volkswagen Jetta and headed south toward Route 1, Shea said. Melto was driving up Popes Lane when he saw a car heading toward him. Limbaugh had apparently doubled back, and Melto did not know what kind of car Limbaugh was driving or even what Limbaugh looked like. He assumed it was a lost driver, Shea said.
The car slowed, stopped, backed up, and pulled forward and stopped. Someone got out, Shea said. Melto exited his cruiser, and the person asked Melto, using profanity, if he was the one who had come to his door, according to the prosecutor.
Limbaugh said something like “let me tell you” before raising his hand to strike Melto, Shea said.
Melto blocked the first blow. A scuffle ensued, and Melto tried to get Limbaugh in a bear hug, Shea said. Melto was jabbed in the back of the head. Melto sprayed Limbaugh in the face with pepper spray and went for his collapsible baton, the prosecutor said.