DANVERS — A Peabody man will pay $1,400 in fines after pleading guilty Friday to charges stemming from a dispute with employees over how many boxes of rubber gloves he could buy during the early weeks of the pandemic last year. 

Peter Diorio, 56, was charged after the April 6, 2020, confrontation that started inside the Lowe's Home Improvement on Route 114 in Danvers, after he was told he could not purchase more than four boxes of gloves, a prosecutor told Salem District Court Judge Randy Chapman. 

At the time, many retailers were limiting the number of items of personal protective equipment a customer could purchase due to widespread shortages. 

During the confrontation, according to a prosecutor, Diorio slapped an employee's hand. Then, after getting to his car in the parking lot, he noticed that an employee had followed and was taking a photo of his license plate. Diorio got back out, pushed the employee, took the employee's phone and threw it to the pavement, the prosecutor said. 

He pleaded guilty to charges of vandalizing property, disorderly conduct and two counts of assault and battery. The fine was the result of a plea agreement between the Essex District Attorney's office and Diorio's lawyer, Gerard LaFlamme. 

Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, by email at jmanganis@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @SNJulieManganis. 

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