No bail for man shot by police

RYAN MCBRIDE/Staff photoAustin Boga during his arraignment last week in Salem District Court on multiple charges including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He remains held after a judge deemed him a danger to the public Monday during a hearing. 

SALEM — A man who was shot in the arm by police last week when he allegedly nearly ran them over was held without bail on Monday.

Austin Boga, 25, of Peabody, was denied bail during a hearing in Salem District Court based on what Judge Jane Prince called his "longstanding record of violence and complete lack of regard for the court."

Boga has been in jail since he was arrested on Wednesday after he allegedly drove his car toward two Salem police officers at around 1 a.m. in the parking lot of Shetland Park on Congress Street.

Patrolman Ian Canty jumped out of the way as the car clipped his flashlight, while Patrolman Daniel Musto fired multiple shots at the car. Police eventually arrested Boga after he crashed his car on Peabody Street and jumped into the South River.

Boga's attorney, Kristen McLaughlin, asked the judge to release her client with a GPS ankle bracelet, saying he could stay with his mother in Peabody. McLaughlin also said Boga still has a bullet lodged in his arm and has not been properly treated at the jail infirmary. McLaughlin asked Prince to release Boga under conditions that would allow him to go to the hospital and have surgery to remove the bullet.

But prosecutor Michael Varone said Boga is a danger to the community, describing him as "just a violent person with a substance abuse problem who does not respect the police."

Varone entered into evidence several police reports from Salem, Peabody and Lynn in which Boga was accused of assault and battery, armed robbery, and drug charges. Varone also cited a Facebook post in which Boga said he hated police.

"The defendant essentially tried to run over two Salem police officers," Varone said. "He's been victimizing the North Shore communities of Peabody, Lynn and Salem for the last several years."

McLaughlin objected to admitting the Facebook post as evidence, saying it could not be proven that it was written by Boga. Prince said the Facebook post might not be admissible in a trial, but said she would allow it for the dangerousness hearing.

McLaughlin also objected to admitting the Salem police report of the Shetland Park incident as evidence. She said the report was not written by the two police officers who were there, but rather by a third officer to whom they told the story.

Prince denied that objection, saying she found the report "very detailed" and consistent with the 911 recording of the incident.

Boga did not speak during the hearing. His mother, aunt and girlfriend attended the hearing. Boga is due back in court on Dec. 2.

The Massachusetts state police will conduct an investigation into the officers' response as part of the Salem Police Department's policy following any officer-involved shooting.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

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