"O'Hare said his client, who is married but separated, had been suffering from some mental health problems recently and was on a cluster of prescription drugs, including Ativan, lithium and Zoloft."
Man ordered held in holdup at McDonald's
By Julie Manganis
SALEM A man who, his lawyer said, was "desperate" for money pleaded not guilty to holding up a McDonald's on Canal Street during the dinner hour Wednesday.
Peter Kealy, 32, of 101/2 Foster St., Salem, is charged with unarmed robbery and resisting arrest during his arraignment yesterday in Salem District Court, where a judge ordered him held on $5,000 cash bail.
Prosecutor Colleen Cashman said Kealy, wearing hospital scrubs and a black hooded sweatshirt, walked into the fast food restaurant around 6:30 p.m. and approached the counter, telling the clerk he needed change.
When the clerk couldn't immediately open the register because there was no transaction under way, Kealy went around the counter and demanded that it be unlocked, the prosecutor said. He then allegedly demanded that an employee get a bag.
Kealy filled the bag with cash from the register and left, as some 10 witnesses watched, the prosecutor said.
Officers quickly spotted the man on Hazel Street. Police said he tried to resist arrest, reaching into his pockets, which led to a brief scuffle.
Five witnesses who were still at McDonalds, including the restaurant manager, identified Kealy as the man who had just robbed the place.
Kealy had just been at Salem Hospital to have his medications adjusted, said his lawyer, William O'Hare. That's why Kealy was wearing hospital scrubs, his lawyer said.
O'Hare said his client, who is married but separated, had been suffering from some mental health problems recently and was on a cluster of prescription drugs, including Ativan, lithium and Zoloft.
O'Hare called Cashman's request for $25,000 bail "excessive," telling Judge Michael Lauranzano, "He doesn't have any dough."
Kealy isn't expected to come up with the $5,000 set by the judge.
He's due back in court April 26.