SALEM — Five people have pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a confrontation with police early Sunday outside a house party on Canal Street, a situation police say devolved into "pure chaos."
One officer was punched in the face, and another was kicked and spit upon, as a crowd yelled "(expletive) the police" and refused orders to disperse, according to a police report.
One person, Brayan Angomas, 20, of Lynn, is facing charges that he attempted to disarm one of the officers by grabbing his baton and nearly tearing it out of the officer's utility belt, then slipped out of an officer's grasp as his shirt ripped.
Angomas remains free on $500 bail posted shortly after his arrest on charges that also include three counts of assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct.
A woman at the party, Alexus Parker, 20, who lives at 127 Canal St., the address of the incident, is free on $250 bail, charged with assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct, after spitting on and kicking an officer during her arrest.
The city was in the midst of a widespread power outage shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday when police received a call about a possible fight at 127 Canal St., a triple-decker apartment house that police say has been an "issue" for the department since at least 2014. The property is currently owned by a real estate trust, whose principal lives in Brookline.
Patrolmen Ian Canty, Thomas Shute and Edward Pierce arrived first, and found a large disturbance in the backyard.
Parker began yelling at Pierce, who asked for identification. As Pierce followed her toward the house, she turned around and said, "You don't got warrants so get out of here," police said.
'Out of control'
As Pierce spoke to Parker, a group of about 10 people gathered in the yard, and Parker grew increasingly hostile. "Nobody has to leave," she yelled. "This is the first complaint of the night. They can't kick us out until the third complaint."
It was at that point that Angomas began yelling that officers had no right to be there and asking to see warrants. The group began to grow, according to police, with at least 15 to 20 people at the doorway and an estimated 80 people inside the party. Some people in the crowd began to yell "(expletive) the police."
Police say they had no intention of going into the house initially. However, "due to how loud, how aggressive, and how all around out-of-control the party had become, we ordered everyone to clear out of the residence to quell the disturbance," Canty said in his report.
Then, Angomas and Parker began yelling that no one had to leave. Canty said he attempted to put Angomas under arrest for disorderly conduct, when he realized that Shute was being pulled into the house. Pierce grabbed Shute's vest and pulled him away.
That's when police say Angomas grabbed Shute's baton, in a holder, which was nearly ripped off. Shute was punched in the face by an unknown person, suffering a bloody lip.
Canty said Angomas eventually broke away after his shirt ripped and ran back into the house. Shute then used his pepper spray on the crowd at the doorway, which caused nearly everyone to run outside.
Someone then closed the front door. Canty kicked it open, he said in his report.
All officers needed
At this point the entire overnight shifts for both the Salem police and Salem State University campus police were at the scene. Approximately 100 people were out in the street at that point.
Inside the house, police found Angomas, who yelled "what the (expletive) are you doing?," then grabbed Patrolman Kevin McDonnell's vest and pushed him. McDonnell then punched Angomas to attempt to stop the assault. Two other officers entered, and Patrolman Derek Sears pulled out his Taser, though he did not deploy it.
Three other people were arrested: Kelvin Imalenowa, 21, of Lynn, charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct after allegedly approaching officers and raising his fists in a fighting stance; Leandro Diaz, 22, of 28 Hancock St., Salem, charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest; and Derian Angomas, 23, of Lynn, who was also charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after allegedly breaking free from a group of friends and rushing at officers.
The massive police response "left the entire city of Salem and Salem State University with no active police coverage at a time when the city was experiencing a large-scale power outage, causing a very dangerous situation for officers and citizens," Canty wrote.
During the arraignments of the five defendants in Salem District Court on Tuesday, prosecutor Matt Schrieber asked a judge to increase the bail for Brayan Angomas and Parker, citing the level of violence during the incident.
As the prosecutor was reading from a police report, a woman in the courtroom laughed and then yelled, "This is (expletive)" before being ordered out of the courtroom by Judge Emily Karstetter.
The judge denied Schreiber's request to increase bail on Angomas and Parker.
The five are due back in court Aug. 26.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis.