ASSAULT & BATTERY CHARGE – NO PROBABLE CAUSE

On September 16, 2014, GN, a 57 year old man from Wilmington, was accused of assaulting a female neighbor. The neighbor’s 11 year old son had been playing ball in the street in front of GN’s house; the boy claimed that the ball went under the bushes directly in front of GN’s house and that before the boy could retrieve the ball GN came out of the house, picked the ball up, and put it in his pocket. The boy went home and told his mother. The mother came down to GN’s house and rang the bell. GN came to the door and the neighbor demanded that he return the ball. GN denied that he had the ball and said he did not know what she was talking about. The neighbor walked away from the door and as she walked down the driveway she grabbed GN’s granddaughter’s tricycle and shouted to GN you’ll get the trike back when I get the ball back.GN bolted from the front door and according to the neighbor grabbed the tricycle and then shoved her. The neighbor called the police and the police responded. GN denied shoving the neighbor; he admitted to grabbing the tricycle. The neighbor applied for a criminal complaint against GN and GN received a notice of a complaint hearing from Woburn District Court. GN retained Attorney Robert Lewin. Attorney Lewin immediately advised GN to apply for a criminal complaint against the neighbor for larceny (stealing the tricycle) in order to “level the playing field”. GN followed Attorney Lewin’s advice. The Clerk-Magistrate at Woburn District Court sent the neighbor a notice for a hearing against her for larceny. The two hearings were scheduled for the same time. In Massachusetts a person has a right to use reasonable, non-deadly, force to protect their property and to prevent it from being stolen. On October 24, 2019 the hearing took place. The Clerk-Magistrate heard both sides. Attorney Lewin had photos of the scene and had GN, his wife, and his daughter testify. Attorney Lewin had made a copy of the relevant law (that a person has right to use reasonable, non deadly, force to prevent their property from being stolen) for the Clerk-Magistrate. The Clerk-Magistrate found no probable cause to issue a criminal complaint against GN. GN walked out of Woburn Court having no criminal record and no criminal complaint to defend against.