AYER – An Ayer patrolman has been knocked out of commission for approximately 6-8 weeks due to a violent scuffle early Sunday morning. Ayer police say an allegedly drunken Ayer man rose up to attack responding officers who were trying, along with paramedics, to take the man into protective custody. Now the man faces disorderly conduct and assault and battery charges.
Robert Davis, 31, of Hatch Street was arrested at 3:20 a.m. by Ayer Police and charged with disorderly conduct. However, Davis’ alleged behavior quickly escalated the charges into resisting arrest and assault and battery on a police officer.
Ayer Police Lt. Brian Gill said police and paramedics were called to the corner of 25 Main Street and 9 Washington Street and found Davis “in a pool of vomit.” Davis, who Gill called “a very large man,” was being tended to by two women who “did not want to take custody of the man in his apparently overly intoxicated state.”
Though initially logy, Davis, who is 6 foot, 3 inches tall and 300 pounds, allegedly took off in a burst of energy and began fighting the responding patrolmen.
“He was just kind of set off,” said Gill. “It had nothing to do with any [police] control techniques.”
Davis allegedly “violently resisted” the attempts of Sergeant John MacDonald and Patrol Officer George Fichter to take Davis into protective custody. Davis allegedly thrashed about, elbowing the officers.
While the melee was afoot, responding paramedics radioed to the dispatcher of the need for backup for the two officers.
Pepper spray had no effect on Davis. The Ayer Police Department does not equip its officers with tasers to temporarily paralyze resistant suspects.
“It would be something we definitely would have relished in this encounter I think,” said Gill. “With anything, hindsight is 20/20. It may have worked, but it’s something that we rarely would have to use here.”
“There are multiple tools out there to use,” said Gill.
Sgt. MacDonald used his baton on Davis to his own detriment. “The baton didn’t take him down,” said Gill. “It was the only thing we had at our disposal at that point.”
Instead, the energy of the baton strike radiated back through MacDonald’s hand, breaking MacDonald’s own wrist and arm.
“As fast as he started, he stopped,” said Gill. Davis allegedly calmed himself down and Fichter made the arrest.
Both Davis and MacDonald were taken to Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer. MacDonald will be out of commission for a minimum of 6-8 weeks.
Davis had to be decontaminated from the pepper spray. Despite the baton blow, Davis was treated for minor injuries and released.
Gill said Davis conversed with the officers after the attack, explaining that he was an ex-martial arts athlete. In terms of the alleged violent outburst, Gill said Davis “went from ‘off’ to ‘on’ to ‘off.”
Stephanie Guyotte, Deputy Director of Communications for the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, said that Davis was released on personal recognizance. Davis is to return to Ayer District Court on July 25 for a pre-trial conference.
Follow Mary Arata on twitter.com/maryearata.