SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

May 3, 2013

Danvers cop details attack

DANVERS — Danvers Patrolman John Melto gave at-times-tearful testimony yesterday in Salem Superior Court about his bloody scuffle with convicted Level 3 sex offender Roy Limbaugh on Popes Lane in August 2011.

It’s the first time that Melto has said in public what happened.

At 5:30 a.m. on Aug. 19, Melto was attempting to arrest Limbaugh, of 37 Popes Lane, on two traffic warrants. The department also had concerns about the lack of a work address listed on his sex offender registry form.

In the scuffle, Melto was slashed four times on the side and front of his throat and several times on his wrist and hand, and he suffered a cut on the back of his head, according to medical testimony and photographs of the injuries shown in court. No weapon has been found.

Limbaugh, who is acting as his own attorney with the help of standby counsel Joseph Collins, objected to Melto’s medical records being marked as evidence. After an out-of-earshot sidebar conference with Superior Court Judge Howard Whitehead, the judge allowed them.

Limbaugh faces seven charges related to the attack, including failing to register as a sex offender and armed assault to murder.

A vascular surgeon who operated on Melto, 49, the morning of the incident testified that the cuts to Melto’s neck barely missed his carotid artery, internal jugular vein and trachea.

“How close did those lacerations come?” Assistant District Attorney Gerald Shea asked.

“Several millimeters,” said Dr. Larry Goldberg, the trauma medical director at Salem Hospital. Melto, an 11-year patrolman, later required a second surgery on his hand to repair nerve damage and was out of work for 99 days.

Goldberg, whose testimony came before Melto’s, said the injuries appeared to have been made with some sort of weapon, and they could have led to Melto’s death.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Comments Tracker