Assault with a Dangerous Weapon (Firearm) and Disturbing the Peace: Not Guilty After Trial
A man was charged with two counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, Improper Storage of a Firearm and Disturbing the Peace following a routine visit to a walk-in medical clinic. He was prosecuted in Fall River District Court and represented at trial by Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer, John L. Calcagni III, and his associate, Attorney John Pensa. After trial, the Court found the man not guilty of all charges, with exception of improperly storing a firearm.
The elderly, Portuguese man visited his local walk-in medical clinic for an examination. After signing in at the front desk and waiting in the lobby, he was escorted by a medical technician into an examining room. The technician asked the man to remove his clothing for the exam. As the man removed his jacket, the technician observed a handgun, in a holster, on the man’s belt and strapped to his waist. The technical was shocked and surprised by this observation. He had no experience with firearms and was uncomfortable having the weapon in his presence.
The technician asked the man about the gun. The man replied he was licensed to carry it under Massachusetts law. The man further stated to the medical technician that the gun was not loaded. Despite this information, the technician remained uncomfortable and asked the man to either place the gun in his car or elsewhere and return for the exam. This offended the man and caused him to raise his voice. He protested against leaving the clinic and continued to proclaim he was licensed to carry the unloaded gun. The technician left the room to report matters to his supervisor, a nurse practitioner. When he returned, the technician observed the gun on the examining room table with several bullets lined up next to it. This placed the technician in greater fear. As he entered the room, the man picked up the gun and began both waving and pointing it in the technician’s direction. While doing so, he repeated that the gun was both licensed and unloaded. The technician was not convinced and again left the room.
The nurse practitioner entered the room to confront the man. She too observed him with the gun in his hand and extremely agitated. While waving and pointing the gun at her, he protested that he was licensed to carry, and the gun was unloaded. He spoke in a loud and aggressive tone. In fear for her safety and that of other employees and patients in the clinic, she fled the room and called 911. Left alone, the man apparently got dressed and voluntarily departed the clinic. She overheard the man screaming, slamming doors and disrupting other staff and patients in the waiting area as he departed. He went outside to the parking lot and secured the unloaded handgun and ammunition inside his locked car. As he was walking back towards the building, police swarmed the area and placed him under arrest.
The man was prosecuted in Fall River District Court with two counts of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon against both the medical technician and nurse practitioner. He also accused of Disturbing the Peace for his conduct in the clinic, and finally, Improper Storage of the Firearm for placing it inside his vehicle. Once charged, he retained Massachusetts Criminal Defense Lawyer, John L. Calcagni III, and the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III, Inc. to defend him in this matter. After appearing for multiple pretrial conferences, Attorney Calcagni could not negotiate for a dismissal of this case. Accordingly, the matter proceeded to trial.
Attorneys Calcagni and Pensa represented the man at trial. The Commonwealth called two police witnesses and the two clinic employees reference above. Following witness testimony, Attorney Calcagni made a closing argument for the client. He argued that the man formed no intent to place anyone in fear in the clinic, as evidenced by his repeated claims the gun was both licensed and unloaded. Further, while he waved the gun around, there was no evidence he pointed it directly at anyone with an intent to threaten or harm anyone. The man also left the clinic, as instructed, and locked the gun inside his car. When police arrived, he fully cooperated with them by providing a statement, displaying his license to carry, telling police where the gun was located and even giving them the key to his locked car. Based on these arguments, the Court found the man not guilty of the felony assault charges and disturbing the peace. He was found guilty, however, of improperly storing the firearm in his vehicle and ordered to pay a $750 fine.