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Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA)
December 3, 1994
Author: George Snell; Telegram & Gazette Staff
LEOMINSTER – A 60-year-old Fitchburg man accused of running his car over the legs of a police officer was arraigned yesterday at Leominster District Court.
Robert L. Anderson of 126 Warren St., Fitchburg, pleaded not guilty to charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a car), assault with a dangerous weapon, drunken driving, leaving the scene of a personal-injury accident and failure to keep to the right.
When the court clerk was reading off the charges, Anderson, who used a pair of metal crutches to help himself walk, questioned Judge Vito Virci. Anderson: “What kind of dangerous weapon was I supposed to have used?”
Virci: “A car.”
Virci set bail at $5,000 cash. Anderson is scheduled to return to court on Dec. 8. Anderson is accused of running over Officer Dominic A. Tata on Wednesday night.
According to Assistant District Attorney David B. Locke, Anderson was involved in a traffic altercation with a woman on West Street. Locke said Tata, who was working a construction detail, was called to the scene by the woman. “Mr. Anderson put the car in gear and bumped into the officer who was in uniform, backed up and then ran over his leg,” Locke said.
Tata was not seriously injured, but suffered from a severely bruised left shin and a twisted back. Police Lt. Robert J. Healey said Tata would miss about four days of work while he recovered.
ARRESTED AFTER 20 MINUTES
Locke said Anderson was arrested by police about 20 minutes after the hit-and-run. “He appeared to be severely intoxicated,” Locke said, adding that a blood test indicated that Anderson had a blood/alchohol level double the legal limit. Locke said the drunken driving charge is Anderson’s second and recommended a bail of $10,000.
Anderson’s court-appointed lawyer, John C. Thrasher, said Anderson’s first drunken driving offense was more than 14 years old. Thrasher said Anderson was a lifelong resident of Fitchburg and had lived in his home for more than two decades. He said Anderson posed no threat to flee.
Thrasher also said his client was disabled and was living off his monthly Social Security payments. He said Anderson takes medication for depression. He recommended a bail of $1,000.
Record Number: 9412035820
Copyright (c) 1994 Worcester Telegram & Gazette Corp.