, Salem, MA


May 23, 2014

Our view: A foolish mistake

It’s hard to imagine a more ill-thought idea than the decision of four men — one from Ipswich — to make an amateur movie about a holdup at a convenience store in Salisbury.

The problem: They never bothered to inform police of what they were doing. And their movie “shoot” took place just a few days after police shot and killed a machete-wielding man at Salisbury Beach. The emotions at the Salisbury Police Department are raw right now, and three officers — including the chief — are out on leave, pending the routine and expected investigation into the incident.

A customer of the Gulf Express convenience store in Salisbury Square had just left after purchasing a cold drink. As he got into his car, he saw a man point a handgun at the store clerk, so he called 911.

“The minute I saw the gun, I thought that it was for real,” the man told reporter Dave Rogers.

Salisbury police responded quickly. When they arrived, according to the police report, officers saw one man pointing a gun at the clerk, who was waving his hands in the air. A second suspect wearing a black ski mask was seen inside the store. The officers established a perimeter and called for backup. Police from Newburyport, Amesbury, Newbury, West Newbury, Seabrook and the Massachusetts State Police responded. The suspects were ordered to the ground at gunpoint. The gun turned out to be a replica BB-type pistol.

The filmmakers are lucky their foolish stunt did not result in anyone being killed or injured.

In court this week, Judge Peter Doyle shook his head in disbelief as he heard the details of the incident.

“Might have been a good idea to notify the police first,” Doyle told the four men.

Under a plea agreement with Essex County prosecutor Maura Bailey, the four were ordered to perform eight hours of community service and apologize to Judge Doyle.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate