DERRY | A Boston firefighter's job could be in jeopardy after he was arrested over the weekend for assaulting a Derry police officer.

Police said they were called to break up a fight involving Richard MacDonald, 28, of West Roxbury, Mass., and several other drunken individuals around 3 a.m. on Sunday morning at the Garden Meadows Condominiums at 97 East Broadway.

Someone who didn't live at the complex had parked in an assigned spot, and a flatbed truck had been called to tow the car away. MacDonald, along with two other people, didn't approve and physically blocked the flatbed from leaving, police said.

Police were called to the scene by the truck's operator. When they arrived at the scene, they said a group of intoxicated individuals were gathered around the flatbed truck. Police told them to back away from the truck, but MacDonald, Adam Vinecombe, 26, of Merrimack and Janie Reader, 26, who lives at the condo complex, protested.

MacDonald yelled to police that he was a Boston firefighter and stepped in front of the flatbed truck. When Patrolman Robert Moore tried to move Reader out of the way, she kicked him in the groin and spit in his face.

Moore then tried to detain Reader, and Sgt. Peter Morelli stepped into help. At that point, MacDonald lunged at Morelli, jumping on top of him and pinning him to the ground.

Both officers were transported to Parkland Medical Center | Morelli with neck and back injuries and Moore so that he could have his eyes flushed. Both officers are doing well, police Capt. Vernon Thomas said, but Morelli is expected to miss a few days of work.

MacDonald has an unlisted phone number and could not be reached for comment Monday.

It's unclear what he was doing in Derry or who the car belonged to. Police said the car had New Hampshire plates.

MacDonald was charged with class A misdemeanors for simple assault and resisting arrest. Each charge carries up to a year in prison if he is convicted. He was also charged with a class B misdemeanor for disorderly conduct. He was released on $2,500 personal recognizance and will be arraigned in Derry District Court on June 19.

Vinecombe was charged with misdemeanors for disorderly conduct and hindering apprehension. Reader was charged with two counts of simple assault, and resisting arrest, both class A misdemeanors. Both were released on personal recognizance bail and will also be arraigned on June 19.

Boston Fire Department spokesman Scott Salmon said the Boston fire commissioner and the city's personnel department were aware of the incident and were meeting about it Monday. The results of that meeting were not immediately available.

MacDonald has only been a firefighter for about a year or a year and a half, Salmon said. If he hasn't worked for the department for a full 18 months, he would still be on his probationary period. If that's the case, Salmon said, he could be in even more trouble.

"If you're on probation, you could sneeze and get fired," he said.

MacDonald had not been called in to tell his side of the story yet, Salmon said. Depending on the outcome of the meeting and the chief's decision, MacDonald could be placed on paid or unpaid administrative leave.



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